Somaiya, a victim of his own ways?

The alliance with the Shiv Sena is of crucial importance to the BJP.
By Sujata Anandan, Mumbai
UPDATED ON APR 03, 2019 08:25 AM IST

Here’s an incident from mid-2017, which was reported by several local newspapers, including Hello Nashik, a city supplement of Lokmat.

At the time when Chhagan Bhujbal was still languishing in a jail in Mumbai, Kirit Somaiya landed in Nashik for a party executive meet. He was a Member of Parliament, with absolutely no authority to take any decision whatsoever on how Bhujbal or anybody else should be dealt with by the government. But emboldened by his party’s encouragement to take on the Shiv Sena and Uddhav Thackeray, who he had relentlessly tormented during the municipal elections a few months earlier, he landed at Bhujbal’s farm and private residence and ordered the local police to take down the signboard at the gates and seal the property. The cops refused, stating sealing of private property can’t be done without a court order. They said that even if such orders were issued, their job would only be providing protection to the civic authorities who were to implement the order.

Even as Somaiya insisted, a mob of nearly 200-300 NCP supporters arrived, armed with rods, sticks and cricket bats. One look at their angry demeanour and Somaiya, according to reporters who had accompanied the mob, ran for his life. He barely managed to get into his car and shut the door, before the driver revved up the engine and hastily left Bhujbal’s farmhouse. The police advised him to leave the city, as the anger among Bhujbal supporters was palpable and they were finding it difficult to calm down the boys. Somaiya took their advice and beat a hasty retreat from Nashik. While newspapers reported the incident, Somaiya succeeded in preventing their videos from going viral.

Over the years, Somaiya has been unable to shake the propensity to jump in with two left feet into every quarrel, even within his own party. Much of the campaign against Union minister Nitin Gadkari, when he was the BJP president in the pre-2014 era, and seemed the likely favourite of the RSS to become either the leader of the Opposition or the Prime Minister, was run by his own party men. Somaiya, well-connected with the media in Mumbai, used his resources to put juicy leads against Gadkari. Gadkari had to step back from a second term as the party president, for, despite the RSS’ best efforts, some older leaders were determined to sideline him. It is another matter that those senior leaders who used Somaiya against his own then party president themselves stand sidelined today.

Somaiya, however, got lucky with Maharashtra chief minister Devendra Fadnavis, who is a bitter rival of Gadkari in Nagpur, appreciating his efforts and encouraging him to take on the Shiv Sena ahead of the municipal elections in 2017. Somaiya was relentless in labelling Uddhav Thackeray a mafia. Although people questioned both Somaiya and the BJP for their partnership with the Sena in the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation for, all those years that Somaiya had labelled the Thackerays as corrupt, some of that mud stuck and the Sena managed to win the BMC only by the skin of its teeth.

But the Thackerays have always been long on memory and intransigent on paybacks. I knew if there ever was an alliance between the BJP and the Shiv Sena, Somaiya would be its first casualty. He is a sitting MP and while the BJP has no reason to change his candidature, they have kept Somaiya hanging – that is the only seat for which the BJP has not awarded a ticket for so far.

With another video of Somaiya accusing Uddhav Thackeray of crawling before builders going viral –an interview he reportedly gave to a Marathi news channel a few days ago – I tend to think he may have burnt even the remnants of his bridges with everybody. The alliance with the Shiv Sena is of crucial importance to the BJP. The ruthlessness the current leadership has shown towards retiring its revered founder members makes me believe they may not find it too difficult to sacrifice one seat and an ordinary sitting MP to gain much more across the state. Fadnavis is attempting to stand by him, but for how long? Gadkari could have swung it for him, but clearly won’t. However, it is for Somaiya to have known never to meddle in other people’s business, however tempting. And never to be left friendless in politics, where there are no permanent friends or enemies.

SHARE THIS ARTICLE ON
Close
Kirit Somaiya. (Hindustan Times)
Kirit Somaiya. (Hindustan Times)

Kirit Somaiya files police complaint against Maharashtra CM; Sena says claims false

By Naresh Kamath, Mumbai
PUBLISHED ON MAR 04, 2021 12:32 AM IST
Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Kirit Somaiya has filed a police complaint against chief minister Uddhav Thackeray, at the Revdanda police station in Raigad district, for allegedly misusing his position for purchase of 19 houses by his wife Rashmi and Manisha, wife of Shiv Sena legislator Ravindra Waikar, at Alibag
Close
File photo of IIT-B's cultural festival Mood Indigo in Powai. (HT Photo)
File photo of IIT-B's cultural festival Mood Indigo in Powai. (HT Photo)

Mumbai: Final-year students miss campus, canteen, farewell

By Priyanka Sahoo, Mumbai
PUBLISHED ON MAR 04, 2021 12:30 AM IST
The final year of college is an emotional time for students as they make memories on campus that they will cherish for years to come
Close
 (Pratik Chorge/HT PHOTO)
(Pratik Chorge/HT PHOTO)

Mercury crosses 37°C; IMD warns of warmer than usual summer in Mumbai

By Prayag Arora-Desai, Mumbai
PUBLISHED ON MAR 04, 2021 12:28 AM IST
The city witnessed its warmest day of the season so far on Wednesday
Close
HT Image
HT Image

Man dies after getting second dose of vaccine: Family awaits post-mortem report

By Sajana Nambiar, Bhiwandi
PUBLISHED ON MAR 04, 2021 12:18 AM IST
A day after a 45-year-old private health care worker, Sukhdev Kirdat, died in Bhiwandi minutes after taking the second dose of Covid-19 vaccine, his family is awaiting the post-mortem report to know what caused his sudden death
Close
 (BACHCHAN KUMAR/HT)
(BACHCHAN KUMAR/HT)

Mumbai: Private hospitals all set for phase 3 of Covid vaccination

By Mehul R Thakkar, Mumbai
PUBLISHED ON MAR 04, 2021 12:16 AM IST
Overall, on Wednesday, 11,019 senior citizens above the age of 60 and those above 45 years of age with comorbidities were vaccinated at 22 vaccination centres and three private hospitals, almost double the 6,863 vaccinated on Tuesday.
Close
 (HT FILE)
(HT FILE)

Mumbai’s first Covid patients: ‘We have let it stay under the carpet’

By Rupsa Chakraborty, Mumbai
PUBLISHED ON MAR 04, 2021 12:14 AM IST
The Andheri-resident and his 68-year-old wife were the first two cases of Covid-19 detected in Mumbai on March 11. They had only just returned from Dubai.
Close
 (HT PHOTO)
(HT PHOTO)

Not a second Covid wave, but a spike: Maharashtra task force

By Rupsa Chakraborty, Mumbai
PUBLISHED ON MAR 04, 2021 12:12 AM IST
According to experts, a spike means the number of cases rises for a few days and then comes back to normal levels, while in the case of a wave, the infections keep rising,
Close
 (Satish Bate/HT Photo)
(Satish Bate/HT Photo)

Passengers from Brazil will undergo 7 days hotel quarantine in Mumbai

By HT Correspondent, Mumbai
PUBLISHED ON MAR 04, 2021 12:11 AM IST
According to the circular, any passenger, on testing negative post-seven days of mandatory hotel quarantine, will be allowed to go home subject to seven days home quarantine.
Close
 (Bhushan Koyande/HT)
(Bhushan Koyande/HT)

Maharashtra sees 9,855 fresh Covid cases, sharpest 1-day spike since October 17

By Swapnil Rawal, Mumbai
PUBLISHED ON MAR 04, 2021 12:08 AM IST
Amid the resurgence of Covid-19 cases in the state, Amravati, Akola, Nagpur, Pune, Aurangabad and Nashik districts reported a chunk of fresh cases on Wednesday.
Close
The Environment Directorate of Indian Railways with the support of the Indian Green Building Council (IGBC) has developed the Green Railway Stations rating system.(ANI Photo )
The Environment Directorate of Indian Railways with the support of the Indian Green Building Council (IGBC) has developed the Green Railway Stations rating system.(ANI Photo )

Mumbai's CSMT becomes Maharashtra's first green station

By Susmita Pakrasi
PUBLISHED ON MAR 03, 2021 11:21 PM IST
  • With this, CSMT has become the first railway station across Maharashtra and the western division to receive Green Railway Station Certication.
Close
Mumbai: A health worker takes swab sample of a resident for Covid-19 testing in a housing society, amid a surge in coronavirus cases, at Nehru Nagar in Mumbai, Thursday(PTI Photo)
Mumbai: A health worker takes swab sample of a resident for Covid-19 testing in a housing society, amid a surge in coronavirus cases, at Nehru Nagar in Mumbai, Thursday(PTI Photo)

Maharashtra reports fresh spike of 9,855 Covid cases, highest in over 4 months

UPDATED ON MAR 03, 2021 09:57 PM IST
Earlier in the day, the BrihanMumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) announced that Maharashtrians coming from Brazil will have to mandatorily undergo seven days of quarantine.
Close
The rule will also apply to those Maharashtrians who are transiting via flights originating in Brazil, according to the BMC circular. (Representative Image)(PTI File Photo)
The rule will also apply to those Maharashtrians who are transiting via flights originating in Brazil, according to the BMC circular. (Representative Image)(PTI File Photo)

BMC orders mandatory 7-day institutional quarantine for travellers from Brazil

By hindustantimes.com | Written by Nilavro Ghosh, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
UPDATED ON MAR 03, 2021 09:59 PM IST
According to the BMC circular, passengers arriving via flights originating in Brazil were required to undergo a compulsory seven-day institutional (hotel) quarantine even if their pre-boarding Covid certificates were negative.
Close
Farmers sow flowers next to iron nails placed by Delhi Police at Ghazipur (Delhi-UP border) during the ongoing protest against the new farm laws, near Ghaziabad(Sakib Ali/HT Photos)
Farmers sow flowers next to iron nails placed by Delhi Police at Ghazipur (Delhi-UP border) during the ongoing protest against the new farm laws, near Ghaziabad(Sakib Ali/HT Photos)

‘Nails put in farmers’ path, if this preparation was at borders...’: Thackeray

By hindustantimes.com | Written by Kanishka Sarkar, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
PUBLISHED ON MAR 03, 2021 07:50 PM IST
Uddhav Thackeray’s comment drew a sharp response from former chief minister Devendra Fadnavis who condemned the statement and termed it an insult to the Indian soldiers.
Close
The I-T department conducted raids on properties of Anurag Kashyap and Tapsee Pannu on Wednesday.
The I-T department conducted raids on properties of Anurag Kashyap and Tapsee Pannu on Wednesday.

Anurag Kashyap, Tapsee Pannu raided in tax evasion probe: 10 points

By hindustantimes.com | Written by Kanishka Sarkar, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
PUBLISHED ON MAR 03, 2021 06:59 PM IST
  • Maharashtra minister Nawab Malik has alleged that the raids on Anurag Kashyap and Tapsee Pannu were an attempt to suppress the voice of those who speak against the central government.
Close
Chief minister Uddhav Thackeray spoke about the Motera stadium while replying to a discussion on the Governor's address in the state assembly.(HT_PRINT)
Chief minister Uddhav Thackeray spoke about the Motera stadium while replying to a discussion on the Governor's address in the state assembly.(HT_PRINT)

‘Won’t lose match as stadium’s name is Narendra Modi’: Thackeray’s dig at Centre

By hindustantimes.com | Written by Kanishka Sarkar, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
UPDATED ON MAR 03, 2021 05:56 PM IST
"You erase name of Vallabh bhai (Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel), do not award Bharat Ratna to Savarkar (Veer Savarkar) and try to teach Hindutva to us," Thackeray said in Maharashtra assembly.
Close
SHARE
Story Saved
OPEN APP