BJP’s ‘lure and desist’ strategy sees grassroots leaders jump ship in three Pune constituencies
Pathare’s entry into BJP is likely to help Mulik in Wadgaon Sheri given that former enjoys certain clouts in Kharadi and nearby areasUpdated: Oct 16, 2019 17:01 IST
The Bharatiya Janata Party are now employing the specific tactic that has worked for the party at the parliament and state level in Maharashtra - invite (or attract) grassroots and proven opposition party workers to jump ship.
In Pune, on Monday night, the BJP playbook went into action as NCP MLA from Wadgaonsheri, Bapu Pathare, joined the BJP in the presence of chief minister Devendra Fadnavis. BJP candidate and MLA Jagdish Mulik accompanied Pathare to Mumbai for the event.
Pathare’s entry into BJP is likely to help Mulik in Wadgaon Sheri given that former enjoys certain clouts in Kharadi and nearby areas.
Pune’s BJP general secretary Ganesh Bidkar accepted that it is the BJP strategy is to “attract leaders from these constituencies as the BJP is a little weak in these pockets”. The pockets in question are Shivajinagar, Pune Cantonment and Wadgaonsheri.
And the effort has been over the last week to lure Congress and NCP leaders to the BJP from these three constituencies.
Pathare is a big score, prima facie. In fact, Pathare spent most of Monday in the company of NCP leader Ajit Pawar and Baramati candidate, Ajit Pawar.
In the evening, he joined the BJP.
Pathare said, “I respect both Sharad Pawar and Ajit Pawar, but NCP has given the ticket in Wadgaonsheri to a candidate who was responsible for my defeat in 2014. In the last five years, the NCP has not shown me much respect. I have not been invited for various party meetings.”
Sunil Tingre is the NCP candidate from Wadgaonsheri.
BJP “ties up” Shivajinagar
BJP sources, requesting anonymity, claim that former Shivajingar MLA Vinayak Nimhan’s son, Sunny Nimhan, is the next person to join the party. Sunny Nimhan, an ex-corporator, is currently with the Shiv Sena.
Late Congress MLA Chandrakant Chajjed’s son Anand Chajjed joined the BJP from the Congress last week. Chajjed is also from the Shivajinagar constituency. Congress deputy mayor Mukari Algude, also from Shivajinagar, joined the BJP last week.
Siddharth Shirole is the BJP candidate from Shivajinagar and Datta Bhairat of the Congress will run against him.