Navi Mumbai: The BJP and Shiv Sena will contest the forthcoming Assembly polls together after having reached a seat-sharing agreement. Ganesh Naik, the former NCP strongman from Navi Mumbai defected to the Bharatiya Janata Party along with his son Sandeep on September 11. Naik, who has a strong influence in Navi Mumbai, is reportedly offered a ticket by the BJP for the Airoli and Belapur Vidhan Sabha constituencies.
This news has not gone down well with some of Shiv Sena’s Navi Mumbai workers, as around 200 of them have resigned along with the party’s city unit chief and district vice-president. A senior Sena leader from Navi Mumbai speaking to Moneycontrol.com confirmed the story saying that the members had resigned, as they did not want to work for Naik.
This is what the leader said, "We have the organisational strength, the capability and the cadre. To campaign for someone like Naik, who has been hell-bent on destroying Sena in Navi Mumbai for the past 20 years, is unacceptable. The workers did not want to do that."
Adding to this, Vijay Mane, Shiv Sena’s Navi Mumbai city chief, told Moneycontrol: "Around 20 years ago, this man (Naik) had forcefully removed the photo of our chief, Balasaheb Thackeray, from the city's civic body building. We have been in Sena for the past two decades and our party has a firm base in this region.”
Ganesh Naik has held several key portfolios in the state and is also a former state cabinet minister. On October 21, polling will be held in Maharashtra and Haryana, with the counting of votes taking place on October 24.