Leadership

Adv. Ashish Shelar

Ashish Shelar, a dynamic leader, got a broader platform to work after he became the president of the Mumbai unit of the Bharatiya Janata Party. Adopting an all-inclusive approach, he has begun raising issues of various sections of society. He is inclined to solve through discussions the problems that can be resolved through talks but is also ready to come to streets whenever needed. As a consequence, he has emerged as a clever, studious leader, a person who is not shy of struggle. After taking charge as the Mumbai BJP president, he tackled the problems of the railway passengers in Mumbai, raising them in New Delhi.

He marched to legislator to protest against the Local Body Tax. He also organized a morcha to MMRDA protesting against the rise in Metro railway fares. Shelar is now known as a leader who raises the issue of masses, is ready to take up cudgels on behalf of people belonging to all castes and religions, a studious orator, a mass leader who fights for peoples’ problems sometimes in legislative council and on occasions as an activist on street.

Constant study, diligence, extensive reading and good oratory right from the students’ movement days have given Shelar recognition as a studious orator. That is why literary, social, cultural, legal, industry and business organisations prefer to invite him in their programmes with an aim to listen to his thoughts.

His speeches on political and other platforms and in legislative council are attracting attention. Shelar, who is in direct contact with prominent personalities from all walks of life in Maharashtra including Mumbai, is also closely associated with senior leaders in the BJP. He is also known as a person who forges bonds of friendship beyond political boundaries. His presence is specially being felt in Bandra (West) assembly constituency where he has been working for the last ten years. May it be poor, all-religion masses in this constituency or elite and intellectual class residing in localities like Pali Hill, Shelar has skills to take along all in his journey for development.

In true sense, 41 years old Adv. Ashish Shelar is BJP leadership’s young face who has grown to this position from grass-root level. Originally a native from Sindhudurg district of Konkan, Ashish was born in chawl system dwelling of mile-workers area. Later in his childhood he shifted and settled in Bandra West with his parents and family. A people’s man since early age, Ashish joined RSS in school days and completed Prathamik Varsha course. He went on to join ABVP in college and successfully rose to the leading position of Mumbai Secretary of ABVP. During these two and half years Ashish working tirelessly and was a vocal representative for the cause of students welfare and University’s staff and teachers, Ashish led landmark agitations such as “Thiya” agitation for Mumbai University teachers demands, the largest morcha of over 1 lakh students at Kalaghoda, in support of the education demands of students. A firm believer in his conviction, Ashish also endured jail time, during his protests against injustice meted out to student community due to AICTE decisions.

Riding on the success of his untiring work for student welfare, he was elected to the Mumbai University Student Council and was also University representative from GJ Advani law college, Mumbai. Ably balancing his student leadership and academic responsibilities, Ashish went onto successfully complete his LLB from Mumbai University. Ashish then charted a career in active politics joining BJP’s youth wing and becoming the President of Mumbai’s Youth Wing, he was in the core team tasked with the organisation of the BJP Maha-Adhiveshan held at Mahalaxmi Race course in. A noteworthy agitation led by him during this time, was the protest against Sanjay Dutt and his role in bomb blasts.

In 2002, Ashish was elected as a BMC corporator from Khar West Ward 77 and elected as Chairman of Mumbai Improvement Committee. During this time, Ashish successfully pursued establishment of Human Resources department in BEST to address the needs of its personnel needs, something which BEST lacked, despite completing 100 years. He also played a key role in renovation of the Bhau Daji Lad museum, a vital archive of Mumbai’s rich historical and cultural heritage.

Ashish brought into public spotlight the duplicity in public policy regarding land allotment and de-reservation in the island city by making a representation to then Hon PM detailing 67 suspicious land details transactions in Mumbai. Cognizant to the needs of Mumbai’s early residents, Ashish energised the redevelopment of old & dilapilated bldgs under section 33 (7) of DCR.

As President of BJP’s North West Mumbai district, Ashish sharpened his organisational energies in building the party’s strength, and helped increase the party tally of BMC corporators. As a testament of his strong grassroot work, Ashish was re-elected to BMC with record margin of votes in 2007. Elected as BJP’s BMC Group leader, he highlighted irregularities in the E governance drive of BMC and influenced positive changes in BMC, leading the fight of safeguarding of Crawford mkt heritage structure. Elected as MMRDA member, Ashish excelled as a dynamic studious and aggressive member in meetings. He offered informed critique on MMRDA transport plan, exposing practical shortcomings in Mumbai metro and mono rail projects. Working closely with then CM Vilasrao and Ashok Chavan, Ashish helped engineer implementation of development friendly policy in BKC zone Ashish was also elected to mumbai metro regional planning commission an important body dealing with DP of MMR.

Enthused by his work, Ashish was appointed as Governor of Mumbai Metro heritage society by MMRDA, working alongside stalwarts like Shri. Arun Tikekar, Shri. Dinesh Afzalpurkar, Ashish represented the citizen’s voice in the formulation of heritage conversation policy. Ably handling these multiple responsibilities, Ashish continued to raise civic issues concerning his constituency of Bandra, Khar, Santacruz and Juhu region. Ashish helped get sanction for the pumping station at Gazdar bandh, addressing a long pending demand of Juhu Khar area residents to tackle their flooding problem. His vocal voice of activism prompted the administration to act against nexus of administration and contractors, regarding sewage treatment plant. His term in BMC was characterised by his fiery, aggressive stand on issues of civic importance, these were based on detailed studies of problems touching lives of Mumbai’s residents.

On the International Fora, Ashish was selected by US State Dept under International visitors leadership program (the only municipal corporator from India), As part of this programme, he travelled across USA over 45 days engaging with 82 NGO’s for leadership development, laying foundation for life long bonds, which continue to enrich his administrative perspective. As a devoted party worker, Ashish was the head of organising committee for the 25th BJP convention. Under the leadership of Pramodji Mahajan, Ashish conceptualised and oversaw the successful organisation of Sahastra Chandra darshan for Shri.Atalji in Dec 2005. In 2009, Ashish fought the assembly elections from H West Bandra assembly seat against long time MLA and erstwhile corporator, losing by lowest margin in Mumbai. Taking heart from his defeat, Ashish continued to forge ahead and serve his constituents. On the social front, Ashish has lent wholehearted support to festivals such as the Dahi handi, Ganesh Mahotsav.On the political front, Ashish has always been playing a key role in working with different political parties and offering people a non congress secular alternative. In 2008, Ashish formed Spandan arts as part of public discourse to highlight public issues through audio visual medium.

Under the ageis of Spandan films produced include

  • Film on 26 July Mumbai floods which was selected for Goa film festival
  • Film on life of Guruji Madhav Sadashiv Golwalkar on the eve of his 100th
  • Dead chimney a film which chronicled the changing topography due to the demise of Mumbai’s mills and subsequent hardships of the mill workers.
  • Currently working on a film on life of swami Vivekananda on eve of his 150th Answering his artistic and cultural moorings, Ashish also found time to produce two commercial Marathi films- Chang bhale and Kajali Spandan arts instituted the Mohammad Rafi awards, in 2012 presented to Naushadji and Mr,Rafi this program was attended by Shri Lalkrishna Advaniji.

As MLC Ashish has continued to raise important issues such as illegal Bangladeshi immigrants in Mumbai, Indu mill, slum encroachment on prime MMRDA land in Bandra.
A Saccha Mumbaiya, Ashish remains firmly grounded and at home amongst his constituents- a true grassroots leader of masses.

Positions held

  • Mumbai Secretary, ABVP
  • President of Mumbai’s Youth Wing, BJP
  • Core team, organising committee , BJP Maha Adhiveshan, 1995
  • BMC Corporator , Khar West
  • President of BJP’s North West Mumbai district
  • BMC Corporator, BJP Group Leader in BMC
  • MMRDA member
  • Governor of Mumbai Metro heritage society
  • President of Bandra Sarvajanik Samanvay Samiti
  • President of Kshatriya Gadkari Maharashtra Samaj – As its president, Ashish has organised book distribution, coaching camps for poor students, health camps across Maharashtra.
  • General Secretary Akhil Maharashtra Karmachari Sangh – comprising of Rishshaw and Taxi drivers union and unorganised sector workers union. Ashish has helped build a 8500 strong union members in unorganised sector.
  • Elected Mumbai Cricket Association member
  • Chairman of Mumbai district football association representing Mumbai’s 350 football clubs
  • Elected unopposed as MLC in July 2012
  • Currently President Bharatiya Janata Party, Mumbai