‘Rebels will have little impact on polls’
VASHI: Former municipal commissioner of Navi Mumbai and now Shiv Sena deputy leader Vijay Nahata. He has relentlessly targeted NCP Ganesh Naik and his family over alleged corruption. Over the past couple of months, he has come in for much flak for his handling of the party. He is, however, unfazed claiming all actions have been in the interest of the party which is all set to take power in NMMC. The alliance with the BJP was supposed to help prevent splitting of Opposition votes. However, isn’t the rebellion within your party a setback?
It is natural for some people to be upset as they had worked for years but did not get a ticket as we have had to give 43 seats to the BJP. Overall, rebels will make little impact on the results as people want to ensure that their votes do not go waste. There have been personal allegations against you over the giving out tickets?
I wouldn’t mind if some- one said that I am incompetent, but I will not tolerate anyone accusing me of taking money for tickets. Such people are barking dogs. There was one such element in our party who was an NCP informer. When denied a ticket, he made the allegations. While your party has always accused the Naiks of indulging in dynastic politics, you yourself have given several tickets to members of one family.
We have given tickets based on electoral merit. These are sitting corporators and their wives who too have been elected. In case of Vijay Chougule, whose son and associates have been given tickets, one should remember that he steered the Sena in the city when the party was going through a rough phase. In your quest to capture power, you have taken even those people against whom you have earlier accused of criminal conduct. How do you justify it?
The reports of a person who met guardian minister Eknath Shinde joining our party is wrong. Shinde had no idea who that person was and he issued a clarification. Reports that we are tacitly supporting him in the elections are also wrong. As for an Airoli corporator, the case against him is still pending so he is innocent until proven guilty. Then why did Vijay Chougule, your city chief, resign merely because of a case being filed against him. Earlier, there were reports of him quitting the party over differences with you.
Chougule resigned on his own to avoid any problems to the party. I am in regular touch with him. He is an integral part of the party.