FOUR-time BJP Member of Legislative Assembly (MLA) from Mulund, Sardar Tara Singh alias Papa Ji is likely to quit the party if he does not get an election ticket. Singh’s supporters have already started a whispering campaign suggesting that he will contest the assembly election due in October as an independent candidate creating trouble for the BJP.
A highly placed source in BJP said that the party has decided not to field Singh this time in view of his growing age and old age related physical problems. The party is looking for a fresh candidate in Mulund, a constituency nurtured by Singh since last 20 years and considered as a safe seat for BJP.
The source added that four names were doing rounds as Singh’s replacement. Local Councillor Manoj Kotak, MP Kirit Somaiya’s wife and women’s wing president Medha Somaiya, state treasurer Shaina NC and Leader of opposition Vinod Tawde were the main contenders for the seat.
“Kotak, Somaiya and Tawde are out of race now. The seat is likely to go to Shaina NC,” the source said.
According to him, Kotak is not capable to win from the area. Medha Somaiya lost the race as she is in bad book of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Once she raised questions on why the Union government could not contain the inflation and railway fare hike in front of Narendra Modi at a meeting organised in Mumbai three weeks ago. Tawde is likely to opt for Borivali constituency earlier represented by Gopal Shetty, who has been elected to Lok Sabha with a thumping margin of 4.5 lakh votes.
“Modi did not like her questioning. Instead, he advised her to explain the government’s side to the people why it was necessitated to hike the railway fare,” the source said.
A Singh supporter said that he had made up his mind to contest the election either as an independent or by from any other party if BJP denies him a ticket. “He has kept an option open to join Congress or Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS). If it does not work out he will contest as an independent. One thing is clear, either he will contest from BJP or against BJP,” the supporter said.
A family member of Singh said he was hopeful of getting a BJP ticket. “My supporters believe that I should remain in electoral politics. Some enthusiasts among them may have talked about him contesting as an Independent,” he said.
“Papa Ji sabki jamanat jabt karenge,” said a supporter.