Maharashtra Legislative Council polls: BJP supports NCP over ally Sena
BJP helped the NCP in Nashik and Raigad-Ratnagiri-Sindhudurg constituencies, where the Shiv Sena had a better chance of winningmumbai Updated: May 22, 2018 00:26 IST
The rift between the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and Shiv Sena widened further on Monday, as the BJP supported Opposition parties in the legislative council polls for six seats. This may cost the Shiv Sena two constituencies.
Ninety-nine per cent members of local bodies in 13 districts (4,629 of 4,638 corporators) turned up for the voting. The counting will be held on May 24.
The Congress and Nationalist Congress Party had joined hands for the polls, fielding three candidates each. The Congress has poor chances of winning two Vidarbha seats (Amravati and Wardha-Chandrapur-Gadchiroli) against BJP, which has the highest number of votes. The party may win Parbhani-Hingoli seat, where it has a comfortable majority with the help of NCP. The NCP, on the other hand, got Congress’ support for three seats, and BJP’s support for two.
Adding to the strain in the ruling alliance, the BJP helped the NCP in Nashik and Raigad-Ratnagiri-Sindhudurg constituencies, where the Shiv Sena had a better chance of winning.
“It was a fallout of the Shiv Sena’s betrayal in the Palghar bypolls. They fielded a candidate against us, despite repeated appeals against it. Our corporators in both the constituencies voted for NCP candidates, as directed by the state leadership. The Sena could have won both the seats if we had supported them,” said a BJP leader, requesting anonymity.
The Sena has fielded Shrinivas, son of former BJP MP Chintaman Wanga, as its candidate in the Palghar bypolls to be held on May 28. The by-elections are being held to fill the seat left vacant after the death of Wanga. The Sena candidate may spoil the BJP’s prospect in the prestigious Palghar battle.
Smaller parties such as the Maharashtra Swabhiman Paksh (headed by former chief minister Narayan Rane) and Peasants and Workers Party, too, extended support to NCP’s Aniket Tatkare, son of former minister Sunil Tatkare in Raigad-Ratnagiri-Sindhudurg constituency.
In Nashik, BJP members voted for NCP’s Shivaji Sahane, who is fighting against Shiv Sena’s Narendra Darade. Of the 644 voters, Shiv Sena has 207, while NCP has 100 voters. The support from BJP’s 167 voters has improved the chances of the NCP candidate. “We spoke to the Sena while filing the nomination, but it did not work out. We left it to our members in the Nashik constituency to decide whom to vote for,” said water resources minister Girish Mahajan, who is also the guardian minister of Nashik.
Shiv Sena’s Anil Parab said his party does not bother about the fallout after taking a stand.
The Osmanabad-Latur-Beed constituency witnessed a tussle between Munde cousins – rural development department minister Pankaja Munde and leader of opposition in the legislative council Dhananjay Munde. The NCP suffered a setback after its ‘imported’ candidate Ramesh Karad withdrew his nomination 10 minutes before the deadline. The NCP then supported Ashok Jagdale, an independent candidate. The BJP fielded former NCP leader Suresh Dhas, who shifted loyalties after the 2014 Assembly elections. Pankaja and Dhananjay are spearheading the campaigns for their respective parties.
UP CM Yogi Adityanath to campaign for BJP in Palghar bypolls
The Bharatiya Janata Party is going all out to win the Palghar bypolls on May 28 that has now become a prestige battle. To woo north Indian voters, the party will get Uttar Pradesh chief minister Yogi Adityanath to address a rally on Wednesday. The rally comes days after Bhojpuri actor Manoj Tiwari participated in a road show between Jivdani Road and Nalasopara on Sunday.
The UP CM will address the rally at Manvel Pada Talao at 7pm on Wednesday. Nalasopara, Virar, Boisar in Palghar constituency have a sizable population of north Indian voters.
The bypolls were necessitated after the death of sitting BJP MP Chintaman Wanga in March. The Shiv Sena has fielded Wanga’s son Shrinivas, while the BJP has given a ticket to former Congress leader Rajendra Gavit. The Congress has fielded its former MP Damodar Shingda.
Meanwhile, Shiv Sena chief will address a series of rallies in Talasari, Vikramgadh, and Nalasopara in Palghar on May 23, 24 and 25.