A district with 2 Lok Sabha seats and 11 assembly segments appears firmly set on Shiv Sena’s radar. Within a span of few days, three more corporators from Jalgaon Municipal Corporation joined the party in the presence of Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray. This follows a similar move in which six Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) members of Muktainagar Nagar Panchayat joined Shiv Sena a few days back.
Earlier, Shiv Sena wrested Jalgaon Municipal Corporation by engineering a split in BJP, when 27 corporators joined the party in the month of March that installed its candidate as the mayor. Almost half of the BJP corporators from Jalgaon Municipal Corporation have now joined Shiv Sena, which has shaken the BJP’s formidable bastion.
BJP traditionally controls two Lok Sabha seats -Raver and Jalgaon- and has four members of the legislative assembly (MLAs). Shiv Sena has five -four elected on the party symbol and one independent. The recent split in BJP, engineered by Shiv Sena, makes its intentions clear. This is a serious challenge for BJP and its rebel leader Eknath Khadse who joined the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) last year. From 1995 onwards, Khadse, while in BJP, consolidated his grip over the politics of Jalgaon. For Jalgaon, his word was taken as final, even though BJP was in alliance with Shiv Sena and both parties had differences on a number of local issues.
Now, it becomes clear that the Shiv Sena leadership is trying to consolidate its own position, clearly ignoring Khadse and NCP, his present party.