The elections to the four seats of the Maharashtra Legislative Council from the graduates’ and teachers’ constituencies, to be held on July 2, have brought to the fore fissures within political parties and with allies.
For the Mumbai Teachers’ constituency, the Shiv Sena and the Republican Party of India’s (RPI) support to Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) rebel Manisha Kayande has caused a rift in the Sena-BJP alliance. Kayande, claiming her party had treated her unfairly, joined the electoral ring as a rebel candidate.
The BJP has approached Shiv Sena leaders, including executive president Uddhav Thackeray, asking them not to support Kayande. The BJP has also chosen not to put up its own candidate and is supporting Sharad Yadav of the Shikshak Parishad.
“Historically, we have never put up our own candidate. I have requested Uddhav Thackeray to reconsider his decision of supporting the rebel from our party,” said state BJP president Sudhir Mungantiwar.
Kayande and Yadav will compete with sitting MLC Kapil Patil of Lok Bharti, who the Congress and the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) are supporting.
The Mumbai Graduates’ constituency will see a battle between Deepak Sawant from the Sena, Surendrakumar Srivastava from the Lok Satta Party and Rajesh Teke, who is being supported by the Congress and the NCP.
In the Konkan Graduates’ constituency, there will be a face off between Niranjan Davkhare, son of senior NCP leader Vasant Davkhare and BJP’s sitting MLC Sanjay Kelkar.
Davkhare has been caught in the tussle between his father, and NCP legislator Jitendra Awhad for supremacy in the Thane region.
The Awhad camp, which is not too keen on Niranjan’s nomination, may not go all out in their support for him.
The fourth seat, for the Nashik Division Teacher’s constituency, will see a tussle between the Sena’s Sanjay Chavan and Rajendra Lande, who is being backed by the Congress-NCP.
The votes will be counted on July 4.