Assembly polls: BJP wants to swap two seats with Sena
Party wants to field candidates from Vile Parle and Andheri West, where the Shiv Sena had lost in the last assembly elections, and give away Kalina and Malad-Malvani to their ally, where they themselves fared poorly
Even though the BJP-Shiv Sena alliance hasn’t broached the subject of seat sharing for the upcoming state assembly polls, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has started vying for two seats that currently are held by the Sena.
Both Parag Alwani and Dilip Patel are said to have become very active in Vile Parle and Andheri West constituencies. File pics
The constituencies in question are Vile Parle and Andheri West, which the BJP wants Sena to give up. In the previous assembly polls held in 2009, Sena candidates stood second in both of these constituencies.
Vinod Tawde, the current leader of opposition in the house, made a pitch for the Vile Parle seat, but will have to eventually settle for Borivli. However, BJP’s former corporator Parag Alwani, known to be close to Matoshree, where the Sena chief resides, has been trying to get the Vile Parle seat for himself.
Sources said Alwani has the backing of incumbent MP Poonam Mahajan, who has been told by senior leaders to return the favour Alwani did her during the Lok Sabha elections by providing support.
Alwani, who had resigned from the party during the municipal elections in 2012 after his wife was refused a ticket, rejoined later. The other Sena seat the party is eying is Andheri West, where Juhu corporator Dilip Patel wants to launch a bid to become the MLA. Both Patel and Alwani are said to have become very active in their respective constituencies.
In return, the BJP wants to give up the Kalina and Malad-Malwani constituencies, where it stood third and second respectively in the previous elections. Madhav Bhandari, chief spokesperson for BJP in the state, said, “There has been a demand for exchange of seats between Sena and BJP these are seats where both parties have lost in the past.
But, the final decision on seat sharing and other issues is yet to be taken.” Outside the city, the BJP wants to contest from Guhagar, which was earlier with the party but went over to the Sena after delimitation. Sena candidate Ramdas Kadam had contested from there and lost. Former NCP spokesperson Bhaskar Jadhav is the current MLA from Guhagar.