Sena alleges non-cooperation from BJP in Aurangabad polls

Raosaheb Danve-Chandrakant Khaire

Aurangabad : A war of words has ensued between ruling partners BJP and Shiv Sena immediately after the Lok Sabha polls in the state on non-cooperation from the BJP activists for the Sena sitting MP Chandrakant Khaire, who contested from Aurangabad.

The Shiv Sena candidate is seeking a fifth straight term in the Lok Sabha. But this time, it doesn’t look as smooth as in the past. In this communally sensitive constituency in Maharashtra, Khaire is seen as a polarising figure. He has benefitted from Hindu votes and the Sena slogan during elections has been: “Baan pahije ki Khan pahije (Do you want bow and arrow [the Sena symbol] or a Khan to rule you)?” Khaire’s main rival is Subhash Zambad of the Congress. But he also has to deal with Harshvardhan Jadhav, Sena’s sitting MLA from Kannad, who is contesting as an independent. Jadhav, who is the son in-law of Maharashtra BJP chief Raosaheb Danve, is expected to eat into the Maratha votes that Khaire is banking on.

It was alleged that BJP state president Raosaheb Danve did not cooperate with Khaire, but helped Shiv Swarajya Paksha candidate Jadhav, his son-in-law, in his campaign. Jadhav had resigned recently as a Sena legislator. Khaire met chief minister Devendra Fadnavis late on Thursday and complained about the alleged non-cooperation.

On the other hand, the Congress too is facing internal issues. The party MLA Abdul Sattar, who is miffed with the party for not giving him the seat, has declared his support to Jadhav. But a bigger worry for the party is the presence of Imtiaz Jaleel of the All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen, because he would attract a chunk of the constituency’s more than 4-lakh Muslims votes.