Mira Bhayandar assembly: Despite Alliance, All is Not Well Between Saffron Partners

Mumbai: Although the BJP and Shiv Sena managed stitch an alliance to fight the assembly polls, all is not well between the foot soldiers of both the saffron parties at ground level in the Mira Bhayandar (145) assembly segment. As per the seat sharing deal, this seat will be contested by sitting legislator-Narendra Mehta (BJP) who is mainly pitched against BJP rebel- Geeta Jain ( independent) and Muzaffar Hussain (Congress).

However, miffed over Mehta’s autocratic style of functioning in the affairs of the local civic body, a large section of Sena leaders and workers are unwilling to campaign for the BJP. While some Sainik's have stayed away from active campaigning, eye brows were raised when a couple of Sena corporators, joined BJP rebel Geeta Jain in her rally prior to filing nominations as an independent.

“The BJP-Sena cadres are working in tandem to ensure a thumping win for Narendra Mehta. However, even if there an iota of doubt it will be cleared during a joint rally of both parties on 11, October in the presence of Sena leader- Eknath Shinde.” said city BJP chief- Hemant Mhatre. Apart from differences on various issues, the recent row over the construction of a memorial dedicated to Balasaheb Thackeray, proved to be the proverbial last straw between the estranged political partners. It should be noted that a group of irate Shiv Sainiks vandalised the office of Mayor Dimple Mehta last month and had vowed not to campaign for the BJP. The provocation came when the standing committee chairperson kept on hold bids received for a proposed memorial in Bhayandar, dedicated to Balasaheb Thackeray.

Mendonca will Play Key Role.

Credited with leading his party to power for the past more than two decades, former NCP leader- Gilbert Mendonca who is now with the Shiv Sena is all set to play a key role in shaping the results of this assembly constituency which is headed for a triangular battle. Credited with crowning the first corporator in the state, first municipal council president, first mayor and its first legislator from the twin-city, the NCP was virtually wiped out after Mendonca jumped into the Shiv Sena bandwagon on the eve of municipal elections last year. Although, Mendonca faces the worst phase of his political career, he continues to enjoy tremendous popularity and has a dedicated voter-base in the region. With BJP rebel throwing her hat in the ring, the arithmetic of votes has become even more confusing.

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