In yet another setback to the BJP, independent legislator from the Mira Bhayandar assembly constituency Geeta Jain joined Shiv Sena in the presence of party chief and chief minister Uddhav Thackeray on Saturday.
Geeta Jain was tied “Shiv-Bandhan” by Thackeray while officially inducting her into the party fold at Matoshree. A former mayor and sitting BJP corporator in the Mira Bhayandar Municipal Corporation (MBMC), Jain had contested the 2019 assembly polls as an independent candidate after being denied ticket by the BJP leadership.
She defeated sitting legislator Narendra Mehta (BJP) by over 15,000 votes and went on to pledge her support to the BJP. However, despite tasting defeat at the hands of the rebel candidate, Mehta continued to maintain his clout over the party and dominance on the MBMC on the virtue of the blessings bestowed on him by the state BJP leadership.
On the other hand, Jain was being systematically sidelined by her own colleagues in the BJP, prompting her to jump into the Sena bandwagon. “Despite pledging unconditional support, I was subjected to step-motherly treatment by the local BJP unit. Moreover, my repeated pleas went to deaf ears of the senior leaders for a year. The way CM Uddhav Thackeray has been striving for the betterment of the state, I feel lucky to get a chance of working under his leadership. Now I will be able to tackle problems, wipe out corruption and ensure proper development of the twin-city,” said Jain.
“Geeta Jain is like a sister to me and her entry will not only enhance Sena’s strength in the region but will also boost the party’s prospects in wrestling control over the MBMC and ensure better civic amenities,” said Sena legislator Pratap Sarnaik.
“Joining the ruling party has its own advantages. Both assembly constituencies now have representatives from the same party which will prove beneficial for the city,” said a civic officer requesting anonymity.
It is interesting to note that despite being in alliance with the BJP, a section of local Shiv Sena leaders had openly campaigned for Geeta Jain in the 2019 assembly polls. Moreover, Jain along with four other BJP corporators had also voted in favour of the Sena candidate in the Mayoral polls held in February this year.