Senior corporator jumps BJP ship, moves to Congress | mumbai | Hindustan Times
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Senior corporator jumps BJP ship, moves to Congress

In the run-up to the civic polls, the first blow has already been dealt to the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), with a disgruntled senior corporator switching to the Congress in search of greener pastures.

mumbai Updated: Jan 07, 2012 01:33 IST
Bhavika Jain

In the run-up to the civic polls, the first blow has already been dealt to the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), with a disgruntled senior corporator switching to the Congress in search of greener pastures.

BJP corporators from Ghatkopar Pravin Chedda on Friday quit BJP. He visited chief minister Prithiviraj Chavan’s official residence and was later inducted into the party.

Chheda was one of the senior corporators in the BJP. He was the chairman of the BEST committee in 2008-09 and was elected from ward number 121 in Ghatkopar for two consecutive terms.

Sources said that over the last few years, he had been having differences with sections in the BJP, including local party Member of Legislative Assembly Prakash Mehta. Chheda admitted that he felt sidelined in the party, as he was not given his due there, despite serving for 29 years. “Despite bringing it to the party leaders’ notice, nothing was done to resolve the issue,” said Chheda.

However, sources said the Chheda quit for better opportunities. Since his ward is reserved for women in the forthcoming elections, Chheda had staked his claim on the neighbouring ward, 124. The party had decided to field improvement committee chairman Balchandra Shirsat, considered close to Mehta, from 124. Chheda then decided to join the Congress, which promised him a ticket for the polls.

BJP state president Sudhir Mungantiwar said: “We tried to retain him. We gave him the option of fielding his wife from the ward 121, and held talks with him, but he didn’t relent,” adding the defection wouldn’t hurt BJP. However, Chheda said that he would hold a rally in Ghatkopar, attended by Chavan, and 10,000 BJP workers would switch to the Congress in that rally.