‘Miffed’ with all the three Assembly constituencies in Nashik falling in the BJP’s lap, at least 35 Shiv Sena corporators and more than 350 office-bearers reportedly resigned from their posts on Tuesday.
As per the seat-sharing arrangement between the BJP and the Sena, all the three seats in the constituency were allocated to the BJP as the party had made a clean sweep in Nashik in the 2014 Assembly elections, when the two parties had contested separately.
According to sources, the Sena cadre had been hoping that the BJP would vacate the Nashik West Assembly seat for them. The Sena, they said, has substantial clout in the constituency — 22 of its total 35 corporators had won from this region — and the party’s local cadre had been preparing to contest from the seat.
With the BJP renominating party legislator Seema Hiray, local Sena leaders have decided to break ranks, with rebel party leader Vilas Shinde contesting as an independent candidate. “There was a feeling among the Shiv Sainiks that the party should have got at least one seat in Nashik. They seem to have taken this decision as emotions are heightened at this time. We will speak to the party leaders and will find a way out,” Sena MP Sanjay Raut said.
Local BJP leaders, meanwhile, have claimed that the Sena should not back-stab the BJP in its time of need. “The local BJP leaders have strived hard to ensure the victory of a Sena MP in the Lok Sabha elections. They should help us now and not rebel. After all, the alliance has been formed by Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis and Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray. They should not betray their party leaders,” Hiray said.
Earlier this month, 26 Sena corporators and close to 300 workers had resigned from the party in support of rebel party leader Dhananjay Bodare, who was miffed over Kalyan East constituency going to the BJP.
As per the seat-sharing agreement, the BJP is contesting on 150 seats, Shiv Sena on 124, while other allies have fielded their candidates on 14 seats.