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Thackeray-Mahajan ties are history: Poonam Mahajan

Mahajan, BJP MP and national president of its youth wing, said both the BJP and the Sena no longer shared a political equation akin to the one forged during the times of her father Pramod Mahajan and Sena founder Bal Thackeray...

mumbai Updated: Feb 17, 2017 13:30 IST
Ketaki Ghoge
Ketaki Ghoge
Hindustan Times
Poonam Mahajan,BJP,Shiv Sena
Mumbai, India - Feb. 16, 2017:BJP leader Poonam Mahajan interact during visit to Hindustan Times Officein Mumbai, India, on Thursday, February 16, 2017. (Photo by Kunal Patil/ Hindustan Times)(Hindustan Times)

Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Member of Parliament and national president of the BJP youth wing Poonam Mahajan on Thursday said both the BJP and Shiv Sena no longer shared a political equation akin to the one forged during the times of her father Pramod Mahajan and Sena founder Bal Thackeray.

“No one is to be blamed. This happens in politics. It is time to move on,’’ she said, but said she did not think the Sena would pull out of the government. “I am very sure the BJP-led government will survive until 2019 and there will be no stressful moments ahead in February,’’ said the MP from north central Mumbai. Mahajan, who had an interaction in the HT newsroom, ahead of the civic polls next week, spoke about why CM Devendra Fadnavis was the face of the polls, her party’s vision for Mumbai and the state of the alliance and 24/7 Mumbai, in a freewheeling chat.

This is the third interview in the Coffee@HT series; the other two were with NCP’s Supriya Sule and Congress’ Sanjay Nirupam.

She is the third politician to participate in the ‘Coffee@HT’ series after NCP MP Supriya Sule and Mumbai Congress chief Sanjay Nirupam.

When asked if she felt bad about the split in the alliance, she said, “That time was completely different…Both these parties got strength by coming together. We still respect that. But, now both the parties have expanded. I think from both sides the equation that was there when Bal Thackeray and Pramod Mahajan were alive does not exist. And you can’t blame anyone for it. Thackerays will take their party forward. I am a true blue Mahajan and I’ll take my party forward.’’

“I feel bad as a Mahajan. But I am the BJP’s strong karyakarta and right now I have to get the maximum number of seats from my constituency, that’s my duty.’’

The BJP MP, however, denied seat-sharing talks were just a façade for the BJP saying that both sides tried to make alliance happen.

“But at times the meetings [seat-sharing talks] didn’t go well. Things would stoop to a derogatory level from their side, which made it difficult to find a middle path. It just went to a level where we couldn’t find a breakthrough,’’ she said.

She, however, ruled out speculation of being a mediator between the saffron parties, saying her only job currently as a party MP was to ensure maximum seats for her party. “Given the political arithmetic, I am sure the BJP will be the single-largest party. We will wait for February 23 to see if we cross the magic figure.’’

With a BJP mayor in the civic body, Mahajan said the party would make a new start by replicating the state’s model of development like war room on infrastructure, transparent processes and faster execution in the civic body.

“No CM has had a holistic vision for Mumbai and MMR like Fadnavis. Numbers are very important for us to implement our vision.”

On the concept of a 24/7 Mumbai, where restaurants and shopping avenues would be open whole day, Mahajan said her government had started working on it. She said the government was looking at pre-designated 24/7 zones in the city, but several issues, including security for such venues, was being tested.

Also read: Just like Maha govt, we want to overhaul Mumbai civic body, says BJP’s Poonam Mahajan

First Published: Feb 17, 2017 11:35 IST