Though he said people of the state wanted him to be the chief minister of Maharashtra, Shiv Sena party chief Uddhav Thackeray refrained from filing nomination papers for the forthcoming state assembly elections. The deadline for filing nominations ended on Saturday. This was also the case with Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) chief Raj Thackeray who had earlier expressed a desire to become the state’s CM but later retracted his decision.
Raj Thackeray has retracted his decision to become CM
Uddhav had on several occasions in the recent past said he had a vision for the development of the state. He had said, “I’m not hankering after the post but I would not stay away from shouldering any responsibility.” Speculations were rife that he would contest from Shiwadi assembly seat.
Meanwhile, there were several significant events on the last day of filing nomination papers. Republican Party of India (RPI) leader Ramdas Athawale decided to align with BJP, making him the fifth partner of the BJP-led coalition, along with Swabhimani Shetkari Sanghatana, Rashtriya Samaj Paksha and Shiv Sangram. Athawale’s party was allotted eight state assembly seats. BJP has decided to allot 31 seats to allies, retaining 257 seats for itself.
Congress minister Sanjay Deotale, too, decided to join BJP to contest the Warora seat from Chandrapur district. He is the fourth minister after Dr Vijaykumar Gavit, Uday Samant and Sanjay Sawkare to quit the ruling side to contest on a BJP or Shiv Sena ticket. At the last moment Congress decided to field ex-CM Ashok Chavan’s wife Amita Chavan from Bhokar constituency. Ex Sena leader Anant Tare has got a BJP ticket and will contest against prominent Sena leader Eknath Shinde from Kopri-Panchpakhadi in Thane.
Rane's former aide to contest on BJP ticket
Rajan Teli, ex-MLC and close aide of Congress leader Narayan Rane, has decided to contest from Sawantwadi on a BJP ticket. A few days ago, he had joined NCP in the presence of Deputy CM Ajit Pawar.