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BJP eyes political gains with Maha corporations’ appointments

The ruling BJP is looking at making political gains by filling vacant posts in statutory corporations and semi-government bodies with leaders freshly inducted from other parties.

The BJP on Saturday inducted Haji Arafat, the chairman of the Shiv Sena Transporters’ Union, and appointed him as the head of the Maharashtra State Minority Commission.

Arafat had met chief minister Devendra Fadnavis along with BJP’s Mumbai unit chief and Bandra MLA Ashish Shelar late Saturday evening.

Arafat, over the past few days, has been vocal about his disappointment with the Sena and this was being seen as an indicator that he was keeping his political options open.

A BJP functionary said that the party was looking to invade the workers union turf, a stronghold of the Sena, by inducting Arafat.

In another move, sitting NCP MLC Narendra Patil was appointed as the chairman of Annasaheb Patil Economic Development Corporation. Patil has been seen sharing the dais with Fadnavis several times in the last few months.

Patil is the head of the powerful union of Mathadis (headload workers), which has a sizeable presence in several agricultural produce committee markets across the state.

“Patil’s inclination was clear enough. He was waiting for the right time. With the Maharashtra government appointing him as the head of a state-run corporation, it is evident that he has joined us,” said a senior BJP leader.

Earlier, NCP Maharashtra president Jayant Patil had alleged that the BJP was luring members of his party by making various promises.

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