The civic elections may be two years away but a bitter battle is already brewing between the Shiv Sena and Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS).
A day after Sena candidate Shraddha Jadhav was elected mayor her rival in the party, Snehal Jadhav, complained of neglect. “The party has been doing injustice to me for years,” Snehal said.
Snehal met MNS chief Raj Thackeray on Wednesday. “I am convinced about Raj Thackeray’s ideology,” Snehal said. She said she would disclose her next move soon.
Her husband, Sudhir, blamed the coterie surrounding Sena Executive President Uddhav Thackeray. “They did not have the courtesy to inform us of the decision [to field Shraddha Jadhav],” he said.
Sources indicated that another corporator Kshitija Pujari who disappeared a day before voting is also likely to quit the party.
The civic elections of 2012 are crucial for both parties. It was the civic bodies in Thane and Mumbai that helped the Sena grow. Tackling civic issues helped the party connect with the masses.
Political commentator Praka-sh Bal said that the discontent in the Sena is due to the recent setbacks. “Uddhav’s advisors consist of arm-chair leaders with hardly any mass contact and they are determining the political future of leaders with a mass base,” said Bal.
He said insecure local leaders look up to Raj, who has fashioned his party on the lines of the Sena.
Veteran Sena leader Gajanan Kirtikar also expressed disappointment. “Competent people are not getting their due,” Kirtikar said.
In Thane, five-time corporator Vilas Samant has also protested against the nomination of Ashok Vaity for the Mayor’s post.
Sena spokesperson Neelam Gorhe said, “We cannot satisfy everyone and one should remember it is decision of our chief Balasaheb Thackeray.”