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Marathi vs Sindhi in Ulhasnagar elections

The BJP, an alliance partner with the Sena in the corporation, has now tied up with the Ulhasnagar strongman and NCP leader Pappu Kalani’s son Omi for the civic polls.

IN the Ulhasnagar Municipal Corporation, the Shiv Sena is likely to play the Marathi card to corner Omi Kalani and the BJP, which are heavily banking on the Sindhi community. Of the 78 corporator seats, around 40 are dominated by the Sindhi community, in which the Sena doesn’t have a strong presence.

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The BJP, an alliance partner with the Sena in the corporation, has now tied up with the Ulhasnagar strongman and NCP leader Pappu Kalani’s son Omi for the civic polls. Supporters of Omi claim the support of around 24 corporators. At present, Sena has 23 corporators while the BJP has 12. Others include two corporators from the Ramdas Athavale-led RPI and six independents.

Sena leaders said they plan to corner the Omi camp and the BJP by playing the Marathi card and highlighting the BJP’s attempts to tie up with a leader with alleged criminal background.

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Gopal Landge, senior Sena leader, said the party will give tickets to candidates from the Sindhi community. “We have fielded over 17 Sindhi candidates and will also focus on development agenda,” said Landge.

But the Omi camp and BJP too have plans to thwart the Sena’s attempts. “More than 45 per cent candidates will be non-Sindhis such as Dalits, Muslims, Bengalis and Punjabis. So, this Marathi card will not work much,” said a Omi supporter.

Kapil Patil, MP and Thane district president of BJP, said the BJP will focus on development agenda. “By playing the Marathi card, the Sena is polarising the polls. While they now question our tie-up with Kalani over his criminal background, the Sena took his support for the legislative council polls. It shows their double-standards,” said Patil.

First published on: 09-02-2017 at 02:40:39 am
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