Manohar Joshi out of Sena-BJP poll panel


BJP-leaders-to-meet-PresideIn a sign of his isolation in the Shiv Sena, senior leader Manohar Joshi has been dropped from the joint election committee of the Shiv Sena and the BJP. He did not attend the first meeting of the committee held here on Tuesday.

The Shiv Sena representatives on the committee are Subhash Desai and Gajanan Kirtikar. Asked about Mr. Joshi’s exclusion, Mr. Desai said: “Mr. Joshi is a national leader. Perhaps, he is more interested in national poll panels.”

Mr. Joshi, a former Maharashtra Chief Minister and Lok Sabha Speaker, has been at loggerheads with Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray for almost a month. The spat started after his indirect criticism of Mr. Thackeray on a public forum, shortly after he was denied nomination for the Lok Sabha elections. Soon after, he met Sharad Pawar, sparking off rumours that he was seeking the Nationalist Congress Party president’s support for a Rajya Sabha seat.

At the Shiv Sena’s Dussera rally, Mr. Joshi was booed. In response, he shot off a combative letter to Mr. Thackeray, insisting that he had done no wrong.