The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) should not “betray the trust” of its allies, said Shiv Sangram chief Vinayak Mete on Wednesday. Mete’s comments followed the BJP’s decision not to consider him again for the Maharashtra Legislative Council polls.
Mete, who was elected unopposed as an MLC in a BJP quota in 2016, was expecting another chance to contest at the end of his term. However, the BJP did not give a seat to any of its allies, including Shiv Sangram. “The BJP should not betray the trust reposted in them by its allies. You cannot take allies for granted. You sought the allies’ help in the past and now you want to sideline them. This does not augur well for the BJP,” Mete said.
“I will speak with BJP (state) president Chandrakant Patil and Opposition leader in the assembly Devendra Fadnavis. We would like to understand their point of view… But if the BJP is not giving any importance to its allies, it shows which way (its) politics is heading. In such a situation, even the allies will have to take independent decisions,” he said.
Mete’s Shiv Sangram does not have any electoral presence in the state assembly. But he has a following in parts of the Marathwada region amongst the Marathas.
Another former MLC not considered for the polls this time is Sadabhau Khot, who leads the Rayat Kranti Pasha. Khot was a minister in the BJP government under Devendra Fadnavis in the state from 2014 to 2019.
The BJP on Wednesday announced Praveen Darekar, Ram Shinde, Shrikant Bharatiya, Uma Khapre and Prasad Lad as its five candidates for the MLC polls in Maharashtra, scheduled to be held on June 20.
State BJP president Chandrakant Patil told the media afterwards: “The BJP had to give a chance to its new party candidates in the Legislative Council. In the given limitations, we fielded five candidates from our party.”
“In politics,” he said, “there is never a full stop. There is only a comma. So, let us see ahead. The BJP has always valued its alliance partners and has gone out of its way to help them. But it cannot ignore its own workers” he added.