Amid intense speculation that BJP would allow Shiv Sena to contest on Palghar Lok Sabha seat, more than 50 workers, including Mandal and Taluka heads and even district-level dignitaries, quit the its Palghar unit between Sunday and Monday. The resignations reportedly started to pour in even as the BJP-Sena announced a seat-sharing alliance for the upcoming elections on Monday.
Sources said that the BJP workers believed that Palghar Lok Sabha seat — currently occupied by the ruling party — will be handed over to the Sena. As part of the seat-sharing arrangement, BJP will contest on 25 seats and Sena on 23 in the General Election.
“The resignation letters have increased in the past few hours and are still coming in. As the unit’s chief, I have alerted my superiors about the situation here and have sent the resignation letters forward,” Palghar BJP unit chief Pascal Dhanare said.
“Since Sunday, more than 50 workers, including the 8 Mandal heads and Taluka heads, have resigned. I have a list, but we are not making it public yet as the party superiors have to take the final decision,” he said.
Dhanare warned that all the BJP office-bearers in the district, including Taluka presidents, would quit if the seat was given to the Sena.
The Palghar seat was earlier represented by senior BJP leader Chintaman Wanaga. After his death, the Palghar bypoll, held in May last year, saw a bitter face-off between the BJP and the Sena. BJP’s Rajendra Gavit had won the seat by defeating Sena candidate and Chintaman Wanaga’s son Shrinivas.