No major dissent as BJP, Sena induct rebels from Opposition

Rahul Wadke Mumbai | Updated on October 03, 2019

File photo   -  THE HINDU

The induction of 21 rebel leaders from Congress and the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) into the BJP and Shiv Sena has caused heartburn among leaders who have been serving the two parties for many years. But sources in both the parties believe that it would not lead to open rebellion against the BJP and Shiv Sena’s top leadership, as it would not be a politically sound move.

Seasoned Congress leaders such as Radhakrishna Vikhe Patil; senior NCP leader from Navi Mumbai, Gangesh Naik; NCP’s satrap from Satara Udayanraje Bhosale, a direct descendent of King Shivaji, have also joined the BJP. Strongman Sachin Ahir from NCP, who has a major hold in the Worli area of Central Mumbai, has also quit the party to join the Shiv Sena.

Sena leaders have not given a ticket to Ahir for the Assembly elections, but have instead fielded Aaditya Thackeray from Worli. The Sena is heavily banking on his local management skills to get junior Thackeray elected to the Maharashtra Assembly.

A senior BJP leader pointed out that the sense of unrest among the serving members of the party is only temporary. Once the last date of withdrawing nomination is crossed, all the angst will subside. Since the BJP has its roots in the culture and discipline of the RSS, its members can never be at ease in other parties.

On the other hand, the Sena was also hit by defection on Thursday, with Palghar sitting MLA Amit Ghoda shifting to the NCP. On Wednesday, former BJP MLA Manikrao Kokate also joined the NCP for a ticket from Nashik district.

Veteran political analyst Nagesh Kesari observed that the defections do not really affect the voters or the parties.

A voter chooses leaders based on local affinities, he pointed out.

Since Independence, only during the 1978 and 1995 elections have rebels made any impact on government formation. In 1978, the Emergency factor played a role and, in 1995, the Babri Masjid incident cast its shadow, leading to the Shiv Sena-BJP forming the government in Maharashtra.

Published on October 03, 2019

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