Mumbai: In yet another setback to the BJP, an independent legislator Geeta Jain from Mira Bhayandar on Saturday joined Shiv Sena in the presence of party president Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray.
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.
Shiv Sena leader and Thane district guardian minister Eknath Shinde and party legislator Pratap Sarnaik played an important role in Jain’s entry into the party fold. Apart from Shinde and Sarnaik, Tourism Minister Aaditya Thackeray, Thane MP Rajan Vichare and party legislator Ravindra Phatak were also present to welcome Jain.
Interestingly, Jain entered into Shiv Sena a day after former BJP leader Eknath Khadse had joined the Nationalist Congress Party.
Jain was associated with BJP since 2010. However, 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 the deaf ear 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 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.