Allies in dilemma on whether or not to contest on BJP symbol
The BJP has a tie up with RPI(A) and when the latter demanded the seat for contesting the Bhusawal civic polls, the BJP gave the seat to RPI on one condition – Kharat should contest on the BJP symbol.
Ravindra Kharat, a long-time member of RPI(A) group, was elected as BJP councillor in the Bhusawal municipal polls. The BJP has a tie up with RPI(A) and when the latter demanded the seat for contesting the Bhusawal civic polls, the BJP gave the seat to RPI on one condition – Kharat should contest on the BJP symbol.
This move ensures two things. Firstly, once an ally contests on the BJP symbol, the candidate is wooed and brought into the BJP fold. Secondly, it shows the BJP’s increasing strength. The BJP has been systematically poaching members of its own allies in the government for a while now.
Similarly, in 2017, Sadabhau Khot, a trusted aide and long-time associate of Raju Shetti, president of the Swabhimani Shetkari Sanghatana (SSS), who was a minister in the Devendra Fadnavis government on the SSS quota, quit SSS and joined BJP. Shetti’s supporters said that once Khot came in touch with the BJP, his behavior towards the party changed and it did not take him long to switch sides.
An enraged Raju Shetti soon cut his party’s ties with the BJP-Shiv Sena governments at the Centre and state after Khot’s departure. During the current Maharashtra assembly polls, the BJP has given a ticket to Rashtriya Samaj Paksha MLA Rahul Kul from Daund constituency which he currently represents. Officially, the BJP has claimed that Kul has been given the ticket as part of a seat-sharing deal with the RSP.
However, RSP chief Mahadeo Jankar has cried foul claiming that his cadres will not contest on the BJP symbol. “They are not my candidates; the day they contested on a BJP symbol they are part of the BJP,” Jankar said angrily on Monday.