BMC Election: Jumping jacks keep BJP list on hold

On the last day of filing nominations for BMC polls, BJP yet to declare candidates for 89 seats

Despite today being the last day of filing nominations for the upcoming BMC polls, BJP is yet to announce candidates for 89 of the 227 seats.

According to sources, the names will be declared only by 5 pm. The first list was declared as late as February 2. “This is being done to avoid defections to rival parties,” the source added.

Another source said that these seats have been kept open for candidates from other parties, who wish to join BJP at the last minute.

In the last couple of days, candidates from various political parties have been jumping teams in a bid to get a seat.

Most number of defections were witnessed in the BJP and Shiv Sena, which broke its 25-year alliance earlier last week. Sources in the BJP said that this is one of the reasons why names have only been declared for certain seats.

This year, several candidates have changed parties and ideologies at the last minute. Five candidates from Shiv Sena alone, including heavyweight Nana Ambole, joined the BJP on February 2. Similarly, the Shiv Sena inducted Mangal Bhanushali, the head of BJP’s Gujarati cell in Mumbai, after he was upset about being denied a ticket.

Many of these candidates came to the BMC schools and other centres where nomination papers were being filed this morning. BJP MP Kirit Somaiya’s son Neil was seen filling his form at a centre in Mulund.

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