A suggestion by party workers to contest the Maharashtra civic polls without alliance partner Shiv Sena has been included in a political resolution of the state BJP. This comes a day after senior BJP leader and Union minister M Venkaiah Naidu urged party workers to restrain themselves on issues related to the Sena.
In the state BJP executive committee meeting that concluded on Sunday, some leaders, while passing the resolution, sought inclusion of the workers’ demand to independently contest civic polls. “There is no need to ally with those (Sena) criticising us. We should contest independently,” said a leader (reportedly Madhu Chavan) to applause from workers, sources said.
Referring to Chavan at the concluding session, state BJP chief Raosaheb Danve said, “Chavan is an aggressive leader, we make him speak whenever required. He speaks truth. We need to put our stand firmly.” He said party workers should not have any disconnect with the public. “If we lose the confidence of the people, we will be in trouble. We should not follow the footsteps of the Congress and NCP while they were in power,” Danve said.
Union minister Nitin Gadkari said the party should expand its base. “Party workers should not misunderstand me. We are with our alliance partner but we need to expand our base as a party,” he said.
Later, state BJP spokesperson Madhav Bhandari said the party cadre was upset with the criticism of BJP leaders by the Sena. He added that there was no discussion on a pre-poll alliance with the Sena for local civic bodies.