The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has finally decided to give up the controversial Guhagar assembly seat for its coalition partner of two decades, the Shiv Sena.
The party has bartered the Konkan seat for the newly formed Ghatkopar West constituency in northeast Mumbai. It plans to field Poonam Mahajan, daughter of late BJP national general secretary, Pramod Mahajan, from there.
“Yes, we have decided to give up our claim on Guhagar. We have decided to swap this seat with Ghatkopar West from where we will be fielding Poonam,” a senior BJP leader said requesting anonymity because a formal announcement is yet to be made.
With this deal, the nominations of Opposition leader Ramdas Kadam and Poonam are nearly confirmed.
The seat-sharing talks between the saffron partners were stuck as both parties had staked their claim over the seat.
Kadam, who represented the Khed assembly seat in Konkan, had to look for a new one as his existing constituency has been merged into Guhagar because of delimitation.
The BJP, which has traditionally held the Brahmin-dominated Guhagar seat was reluctant to replace the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh-backed sitting Member of Legislative Assembly, Vinay Natu.
The Sena was desperate to retain the seat for Kadam as the party did not have an aggressive leader from the region after Narayan Rane quit.
MLC Parshuram Uparkar, who was pronounced by the Sena as Rane’s replacement, has failed to garner support and votes in Konkan. He was unable to end Rane’s clout and the Sena has, thus, been keen to send Kadam to the region.