In what may hurt the Shiv Sena in the Konkan, former party legislator Parshuram Uparkar, who had taken on Industries Minister Narayan Rane on his home turf of Sindhudurg, is miffed and is planning to quit the party.
If he quits, Uparkar will become the latest Sena leader to do so in the coastal belt, which was the stronghold of the saffron party.
Incidentally, a large chunk of Maharashtrians in Mumbai, who form the Shiv Sena’s electoral catchment, hail from the Konkan and the politics of the two regions (Mumbai and Konkan) has been largely intertwined with each other. The four districts of the Konkan account for 39 of the 288 assembly constituencies in Maharashtra.
Uparkar had unsuccessfully contested the by-polls as a Shiv Sena candidate from the erstwhile Malvan constituency against Rane after he (Rane) was expelled from the Sena in 2005. Uparkar was elected as a MLC in 2006 and is miffed that he was denied a re-nomination by the Sena in the recent legislative council polls.
"It is true that I am not happy. My workers feel so (on questions about his plans to quit the Sena)… we have not been getting the results for the work we have done for the party," Uparkar told DNA. He added that he would soon meet Shiv Sena executive president Uddhav Thackeray who is recovering after a heart surgery to present his grievances.
Sena secretary and MLC Vinayak Raut admitted that Uparkar was unhappy in the party. "We will try and convince him. He will become active in the party again," he added.
Incidentally, the ruling NCP has been taking over the anti- Congress opposition space from the once dominant Shiv Sena in the Konkan belt, including Sindhudurg. Sena insiders admit they are losing ground to the NCP, which has more aggressive leaders at the local level.
Before Uparkar, a number of Sena leaders have quit the party for greener pastures and after disagreement with the leadership. This includes minister of state Bhaskar Jadhav (NCP) and also Rane, who joined the Congress with legislators supporting him like Shyam Sawant, Shankar Kambli, Subhash Bane and Ganpatrao Kadam. Former ministers of state Prabhakar More and Ravindra Mane and former Dodamarg MLA Shivram Dalvi too joined the NCP.