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Monday, Dec 09, 2019

In BJP’s candidate list for Maharashtra polls, tickets for turncoats

It is not clear whether these senior leaders have been dropped on performance parameters or if they will be included in the next list.

assembly-elections Updated: Oct 02, 2019 06:40 IST
Ketaki Ghoge
Ketaki Ghoge
Hindustan Times, Mumbai
The party has repeated around 52 of its sitting legislators and included 12 women candidates in the list. Majority of the turncoats, who joined the BJP ahead of the polls from the Opposition have been given tickets.
The party has repeated around 52 of its sitting legislators and included 12 women candidates in the list. Majority of the turncoats, who joined the BJP ahead of the polls from the Opposition have been given tickets.(Kunal Patil/HT Photo)
         

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) released its first list of 125 candidates for the upcoming Maharashtra assembly polls on Tuesday. The party list is helmed by Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, who will contest from his Nagpur South West constituency, and state chief Chandrakant Patil, who will contest his first election from Kothrud constituency in Pune.

Patil has been given the seat, considered safe for the BJP, instead of the sitting MLA Medha Kulkarni.

The first list has several surprises as it does not include at least four senior leaders of the party, including higher education minister Vinod Tawde(Borivili), energy minister Chandrakant Bawankule (Kamthi), former ministers Eknath Khadse (Muktainagar) and Prakash Mehta (Ghatkopar east).

Both Khadse and Mehta had been dropped from the state cabinet following allegations of graft either directly or indirectly in 2016 and 2019. However, it is not clear why the ministers were not included in the first list as these seats are considered to be sure BJP seats and there is no rebellion in these constituencies.

It is not clear whether these senior leaders have been dropped on performance parameters or if they will be included in the next list.

The party has repeated around 52 of its sitting legislators and included 12 women candidates in the list. Majority of the turncoats, who joined the BJP ahead of the polls from the Opposition have been given tickets.

“The candidate list has a clear imprint of the Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis. The first list has his PA’s name but does not have four ministers. The list also indicates how Fadnavis and Thackeray have worked behind the scenes to compromise and finalise the candidates to avoid rebellion,’’ said a senior BJP leader, who did not want to be named.

For instance former Congress leaders Radhakrishna Vikhe Patil, Jaykumar Gore, Kalidas Kolambkar, Harshawardhan Patil and former NCP MLAs Shivendra Bhosale, Vaibhav Pichad, Sandeep Naik, Ranajagjitsinh Patil have been included in the list.

Barring Ranajagjitsinh, all the other turncoats will contest from their home constituencies. Ranajagjitsinh, however, has been asked to contest from Tuljapur instead of his home turf of Osmanabad, which has been left for the Sena.

Fadnavis’s personal assistant Abhimanyu Pawar has been given a ticket from Ausa constituency in Marathwada. This seat was with the Sena.

In Mumbai, the BJP has nominated 11 candidates; it has 15 sitting MLAs from the city. Besides Tawde’s Borivili and Mehta’s Ghatkopar East, the BJP has not included its sitting MLAs Bharati Lavekar from Versova and Raj Purohit from Colaba.

The BJP has also retained both its seats from Navi Mumbai – Airoli and Belapur. But, instead of giving the Belapur ticket to senior NCP leader Ganesh Naik, who was inducted in BJP recently, the party has retained its sitting MLA Manda Mhatre.