Ahead of elections to the BrihanMumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC), the incoming to Shiv Sena from BJP, in particular, is underway in full swing. A day after BJP’s Mumbai unit vice president Krishna Hegde, a three-time legislator Hemendra Mehta on Saturday joined Shiv Sena in the presence of Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray, party MP Anil Desai, legislator Vilas Potnis and Yuva Sena secretary Varun Sardesai.
Mehta was elected from the Borivali assembly constituency for three consecutive terms on BJP ticket in 1990, 1995 and 1995 elections. Thereafter, he was sidelined with the emergence of other leaders.
Mehta had joined the Sharad Pawar led Nationalist Congress Party but could not adjust to its style of functioning. He later rejoined BJP expecting rehabilitation.
Shiv Sena’s move to welcome disgruntled leaders aimed to checkmate BJP which has announced Mission Mumbai 2022 with a resolve to unseat Shiv Sena and get the party candidate elected as the city mayor. Shiv Sena is not leaving any stone unturned to corner its estranged ally BJP as the party has launched an agitation against the Centre over the fuel price hike and has extended its support to the farmers’ protest.
Further, Thackeray has directed all Vibhag Pramukhs and Shakha Pramukhs to step up an outreach programme to consolidate the party's position. The party has launched a drive to lure Gujarati community which has been a traditional supporter of BJP.