The Kalyan Lok Sabha seat has become a focal point of tension between ruling allies, the BJP and the Shiv Sena. Currently held by Dr Shrikant Shinde, son of Chief Minister Eknath Shinde, the seat has caught the BJP's attention. With a strong organisational base in Kalyan and a history of electing the late Ram Kapse to both the state assembly and the Lok Sabha, the BJP sees Kalyan as its natural constituency. The party is considering fielding Ravindra Chavan, a minister in the current coalition government, for the upcoming elections, adding to the growing tensions between the two allies.
Shiv Sena concerned about repeated visits of Anurag Thakur
However, the Shiv Sena is growing increasingly concerned about the frequent visits of Union minister and BJP leader Anurag Thakur to Kalyan. Shiv Sainiks are puzzled by Thakur's keen interest in this particular constituency and speculate that the BJP may have a hidden strategy. There are indications that the BJP is considering fielding its candidate in Kalyan while conceding the Thane seat to the Shiv Sena. When questioned about this possibility, Dr. Shinde stated that the state and Central leadership of the BJP have reached an agreement that they will not claim any constituency where the Shiv Sena currently holds a Member of Parliament. Therefore, discussing seat changes would be unproductive, according to Dr. Shinde.
Dr. Shrikant Shinde explained, "The central leadership of the BJP has assigned the task of overseeing Lok Sabha constituencies in the state to Thakur, who is a trusted friend within the party. Thakur has been given the responsibility of strengthening the party in preparation for the upcoming Lok Sabha elections, and he is diligently performing his duties."
In recent weeks, there have been speculations and discussions about potential candidates for the upcoming elections, causing some confusion among the members and supporters of both the BJP and the Shiv Sena.
FIR against BJP's Nandu Joshi another flash point between allies
The recent filing of an FIR at Manpada police station, alleging molestation of a woman by Nandu Joshi, a senior leader of the BJP from Dombivli, has sparked significant resentment within the local unit of the party. What adds to the significance of this incident is that the home ministry is controlled by the BJP; however, the local police registered the FIR without consulting the political leadership. Speculation has arisen that the FIR might have been filed under pressure from Dr. Shinde, although he has firmly denied any involvement. It is worth noting that the senior inspector of Manpada police, Shekhar Bagade, has been compelled to take leave amid the situation.
Jamnu Purswani, the Ulhasnagar city president of the BJP, stated, "The central leadership has handpicked approximately 36 Union cabinet ministers to bolster the party's position in preparation for the upcoming Lok Sabha elections. Anurag Thakur has been specifically assigned the responsibility of focusing on three constituencies in Mumbai, as well as Kalyan. His mandate is to visit these constituencies three times every month, with the aim of strengthening the party's presence in these areas."
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