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Shivajinagar seat: BJP accused of dynastic politics

Likely candidature of son of city MP Anil Shirole causes stir

The city unit of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has been facing charges of indulging in dynastic politics over the party candidate for Shivajinagar Assembly Seat.

The BJP has zeroed in on Siddharth Shirole, 35-year old son of Pune Lok Sabha MP Anil Shirole, who is also the Maharashtra general secretary of  the Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha (BJYM).

While an official announcement has been not yet made about Siddharth’s candidature, a strong possibility has caused party insiders as well as opponents to train their guns on the senior leadership of BJP.

Speaking with Newsline on Friday, BJP’s western Maharashtra spokesperson Shripad Dhekane said Siddharth Shirole could be the choice as a party candidate for Shivajinagar Assembly constituency.

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“The selection of Siddharth has nothing to do with dynastic politics. The BJP had carried out three surveys to decide candidates for Maharashtra assembly polls, and his name was there on top in all those three assessments. Siddharth fulfilled all the criteria laid down for getting an Assembly ticket from Shivajinagar,” he said.

Saying that Siddharth enjoys the support of the masses and holds the potential to defeat any rival candidate, Dhekane said he was likely to get a chance over other BJP aspirants purely on the basis of merit and not because of his background.

Former corporator Vikas Mathkari, Vijay Kale, Nilima Khade, Balasaheb Amrale, Sham Satpute and actor Rahul Solapurkar were among the local BJP leaders who were eying the Shivajinagar seat for the forthcoming Assembly elections.

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Speaking with Newsline, Solapurkar said he has already expressed his sentiments in a public meeting over the party’s choice of the candidate for the Shivajinagar seat.

“On the one hand, Union Minister Nitin Gadkari and BJP president Amit Shah speak out against dynastic politics, while on the other hand we see exactly the opposite happening in Pune. Despite the BJP having witnessed a setback in recent by-polls in Uttar Pradesh and Bihar due to dynastic politics only, the senior leadership is sticking to it,” he said.

Mubeen Khan, a Congress worker from Shivajinagar, accused the BJP of never practicing what it preaches. “The BJP’s claims that it is a party with a difference are hollow. The saffron party is hungry for power and wants to win Assembly elections in Maharashtra by hook or by crook,” he alleged.

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When contacted, Shirole said he has yet to receive any official orders from the party for filing nomination papers for Shivajinagar Assembly seat.

“I have never insisted on an Assembly ticket from the BJP. However, I would honour the sentiments of the party leadership, if it asks me to contest the polls. My selection, if made, will be based on merit alone and it will have nothing to do with my family background,” he said. He is an engineering graduate who has also authored a book on ‘good governance’ in BJP-ruled states.

First published on: 27-09-2014 at 08:45:22 am
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