‘Rebels will have lit­tle im­pact on polls’

Hindustan Times ST (Mumbai) - HT Navi Mumbai Live - - NAVIMUMBAI - G Mo­hi­ud­din Jeddy Shiv Sena leader ht­for­nav­i­mum­[email protected]­dus­tan­times.com

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.

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