The CM has held over 10 rallies in the city. He has lambasted the Sena in his rallies.
Mumbai: Internal bickering has marred the Bharatiya Janata Party’s Mumbai campaign for the Brihanmumbai municipal corporation (BMC) polls amid allegations that chief minister Devendra Fadnavis is spearheading it without taking other leaders along. Sources from the party alleged that BJP’s Mumbai faces – Ashish Shelar, Vinod Tawde, Poonam Mahajan, Gopal Shetty, Prakash Mehta, Vidya Thakur, Raj Purohit have not been given prominent duties in the campaigning. Some BJP leaders opine that it could backfire on the CM if BJP does not perform well in the polls.
“The Mumbai leaders are confined to their constituencies only. Vinod Tawde, Prakash Mehta and Vidya Thakur the ministers from Mumbai are not seen in the campaign. Mr Tawde was initially given the responsibility to negotiate with the Shiv Sena for alliance, but no major responsibility was given to him after that. Even the posters, advertisements, social media projects only CM, there is no place for Ashish Shelar who is the Mumbai president,” said a senior BJP leader on condition of anonymity.
The CM has held over 10 rallies in the city. He has lambasted the Sena in his rallies. “Initially, MP Kirit Somaiya and Mr Shelar also attacked Shiv Sena. However, after Sena’s counter attack on Mr Somaiya, the MP has preferred to remain silent. Mr Shelar is attending rallies with the CM but he is not involved in independent campaigning,” the BJP source said.
BJP leaders like Prakash Mehta, Vidya Thakur are confined to their own constituencies. Raj Purohit who was also the Mumbai president is working only in his constituency. MP Gopal Shetty who has served as the Mumbai president is concentrating on his area. Ditto with Poonam Mahajan.
None of the big BJP leaders from Delhi have attended the rallies in Mumbai, except for Union transport minister Nitin Gadkari and state minister Purushottam Rupala. “The Mumbai leaders are upset with the CM’s self projection for the campaign. This might backfire on him if the party loses the polls,” a senior BJP leader said.
However, a senior Shiv Sena MP said that the BJP leaders are well aware that they are losing the polls, hence withdrawing from the campaign. “It will be easy for the Mumbai BJP leaders to blame the CM for defeat in the BMC polls. They have left the CM alone,” the MP said.