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‘Ultimate aim is second term for Modi ji’, says Kirit Somaiya after being dropped

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Mumbai, Apr 3: BJP MP Kirit Somaiya, who was dropped as the candidate from Mumbai North-East seat after opposition by Shiv Sena, on Wednesday said responsibilities within party keep shifting and there is nothing new in it. Somaiya is a two-time BJP MP and had been a staunch critic of the Shiv Sena.

BJP MP Kirit Somaiya

The rivalry between Somaiya and Sena began after 2014 election when the ally criticised the ruling party on a host of issues. On Mumbai North East constituency, Shiv Sena had been bitterly opposed to Somaiya's candidature. The BJP then decided to drop Somaiya and replaced him with Manoj Kotak.

"Very happy that Manoj Kotak ji standing with me here has got the ticket. We all will support him and ensure he wins. Ultimately our aim is a second term for Modi ji. Responsibilities within party keep shifting, nothing new in it," Somaiya told news agency ANI today.

[Will Athawale gain from Shiv Sena-Somaiya tussle?]

The BJP's decision to replace Somaiya with Manoj Kotak underscored its keenness to keep its Hindutva ally in good humour.

In 2016, Somaiya responded to Thackeray's dare to PM Modi to conduct "surgical strikes" on Swiss banks to bring back black money. He had said Mayawati, Mulayam Singh Yadav and Uddhav Thackeray should clarify if they were worried about poor people or those with "boxes of money".

Shiv Sena lawmaker Sunil Raut had once said, "Somaiya has not maintained any ties with the people of his constituency. We see Matoshree (Thackeray's residence) as a temple. But if he makes allegations against it and calls (Thackeray) a mafia don, no one should even try to give him a ticket."

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