Assembly Elections 2019: Rebels persist even as last day of withdrawing nominations passes

Updated: Oct 08, 2019, 08:11 IST | A correspondent | Mumbai

The rebellion in saffron parties, along with Congress and NCP leaders struggling to hold on to their assemblies, will lead to interesting contests in the elections

This picture has been used for representational purposes
This picture has been used for representational purposes

Rebels have become a persistent headache for the saffron alliance as four candidates refused to back out, even as the last day of withdrawing nominations passed on Monday. While Shiv Sena is finding it difficult to control its home ground, Bandra East, BJP failed to avert a face-off between an ex-mayor and a sitting MLA in Mira-Bhayandar. On the other side, Sena's rebels are also set to give a tough fight in Versova and BJP's in Andheri East.

The rebellion in saffron parties, along with Congress and NCP leaders struggling to hold on to their assemblies, will lead to interesting contests in the elections.

The toughest election may be witnessed for the Bandra East seat as sitting MLA Trupti Bala Sawant is going to face Sena's official pick, Mayor Vishwanath Mahadeshwar.

"There are chances that I will win, which is why I was pressured so much to withdraw the nomination. I got a number of calls from Shiv Sena but I refused to withdraw my nomination. I would like to work for Sena, but only after winning the election," said Trupti, who is contesting as an independent on the symbol of a cricket bat. Sawant, the wife of Prakash Bala Sawant, won the by-election in 2015 after his death. Prakash is feared to be a favourable factor for Trupti, revealed sources in the Sena.

On the other hand, Versova's rebel is Sena Corporator Rajul Patel, who missed her chance in the 2014 assembly after her nomination form was rejected. Upset over the constituency being given to the BJP, Patel is contesting as an independent on the symbol of an auto-rickshaw. Patel, said, "I will not take my candidature back. I will contest from the Versova assembly seat with my election symbol being an auto-rickshaw."

Sources said that Patel will not lose the post of Corporator irrespective of whether she wins or loses, as Sena would not be willing to lose a seat in the BMC.

Versova's adjacent assembly constituency, Andheri East, has former BJP corporator Murji Patel as the rebel, contesting as an independent against Shiv Sena's official candidate, Ramesh Latke. Murji and his wife Kesharben had won the civic elections in 2017 but lost their seats due to fake cast certificates.

In nearby Mira-Bhayandar, an ex-mayor is taking on a sitting MLA. After serving as mayor of Mira-Bhayandar on a BJP ticket, Geeta Jain is now batting against the party as an independent candidate with the cricket bat as her symbol. BJP has nominated sitting MLA Narendra Mehta. Though Mehta won the election in 2014 with a big margin over the Congress and NCP candidates, this time, Mira-Bhayandar will have a triangular fight with Muzzaffar Husain contesting on a Congress ticket.

Jain contested the civic elections in 2012 and was chosen as the mayor from February 2015 to August 2017. She was re-elected as a corporator in the 2017 Mira-Bhayander Municipal Corporation elections.

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