Maharashtra Politics: Uproar Over Ticket To Naresh Mhaske From Thane Lok Sabha Seat, Discontent Spreads To Mira-Bhayandar

Maharashtra Politics: Uproar Over Ticket To Naresh Mhaske From Thane Lok Sabha Seat, Discontent Spreads To Mira-Bhayandar

BJP functionaries tender resignations after Shiv Sena announces Naresh Mhaske as Thane candidate; say BJP leader Ganesh Naik’s son Sanjeev was preparing to campaign for the past six months; there are four sitting BJP MLAs in the constituency and two municipal corporations are with the party.

Suresh Golani Kalpesh MhamunkarUpdated: Thursday, May 02, 2024, 11:03 PM IST
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Eknath Shinde's Shiv-Sena faction leader and former mayor Naresh Mhaske |

Mumbai: A day after Chief Minister Eknath Shinde announced the nomination of Naresh Mhaske from the Thane Lok Sabha constituency as the Mahayuti candidate, BJP workers and office-bearers from Navi Mumbai and Mira-Bhayandar resorted to mass resignation in protest. Many others announced their decision to not campaign for Mhaske. The Thane constituency includes Mira-Bhayandar, Kopri-Pachpakhadi, Ovala-Majiwada, Thane, Airoli and Belapur.

During a meeting called on Thursday by Navi Mumbai BJP leader Ganesh Naik at Glass House in Kopar Khairane, party workers shouted slogans, claiming that former MP Sanjeev Naik (son of Ganesh Naik) was preparing for the past six months and that the decision to pick Mhaske was shocking. Many party functionaries tendered their resignations at the meeting. Ganesh Naik’s younger son Sandeep tried to pacify the workers but they were adamant on resigning. A video of the outburst later went viral on social media.

Meanwhile, Mhaske and MLA Pratap Sarnaik met Ganesh Naik to convince him. Mhaske later shared with the media a picture of him with Naik, saying he met the BJP leader to take his blessings. A former mayor of Thane, Mhaske is pitted against sitting MP Rajan Vichare of the Shiv Sena (UBT).

Protesting BJP workers said that the Shiv Sena backstabbed the party by giving ticket to Mhaske. BJP functionaries said there are four sitting BJP MLAs in the constituency and two municipal corporations are with the party, so the Thane ticket should have been given to a BJP candidate.

According to BJP workers, Sanjeev Naik is a former MP and was felicitated for being a good parliamentarian. Instead of giving the ticket to him, a corporator was chosen by Mahayuti, they said. Party workers have also insisted that Naik should contest the election independently.

In Mira-Bhayandar, nearly half a dozen office bearers attached to the BJP’s local unit, including former corporator and general secretary Dhruv Kishor Patil, resigned from their posts on Thursday. More workers are likely to join the rebellion against Mhaske’s candidature.

“It’s true that our party members are upset with the announcement. However, since the decision has been made and Mahayuti’s victory has to be ensured, I will try to pacify them,” said former BJP MLA Narendra Mehta.

Notably, despite an official announcement regarding Mhaske’s candidature, Sanjeev Naik continued with his meetings and visits to various pockets of Mira Road till Wednesday night, casting a shadow of doubt on his future steps.

Sanjeev Naik had won the LS polls on NCP ticket by defeating his Shiv Sena rival Vijay Chougle in 2009 by a margin of 49,020 votes. However, he was defeated by the undivided Shiv Sena’s Rajan Vichare in the 2014 LS polls by a margin of over 2.81 lakh.

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