BJP asks Shiv Sena to reclaim lost Mumbai
While Shiv Sena has been tasked with winning back the city's five toughest seats, BJP pockets the two remaining easy fights
Now that the BJP-Sena alliance is locked in, Sena is worried as it will have to fight from five difficult seats in the city — Byculla, Mumbadevi, Mankhurd, Dharavi and Chandivli. The BJP, meanwhile, is confident of winning Wadala and Malad. The Shiv Sena giving up claim to its stronghold Wadala has left ex-mayor Shraddha Jadhav fuming as she was a likely candidate for the seat. While sitting Congress MLA Kalidas Kolambkar will fight for BJP from Wadala, the party is hoping to poach sitting MLA Aslam Shaikh for Malad.
Neither of the two alliance partners had won these seven seats in the 2014 elections. Announcing their list of candidates, Sena said they would give chance to Yamini Jadhav, wife of the standing committee chairman, to fight from Byculla whereas senior leader Pandurang Sakpal would contest from Mumbadevi. While Vitthal Lokare has been given a ticket to contest from Mankhurd Shivaji Nagar, where the current MLA is Abu Azmi of Samajwadi Party, name of the candidate for Dharavi seat is yet to be revealed.
According to Sena sources, it would be really difficult for them to win the four seats owing to their huge minority votebank. They believe that they would have had more chances of winning Wadala as Kolambkar had emerged victorious from the seat before he deflected to the Congress.
A senior Sena leader said, "There were more chances of Sena winning from Wadala than from these five seats. We will still start work on war-footing to help the candidates win these Assembly segments." Rumours are also doing rounds that Jadhav would deflect from the Sena and fight the elections as an Independent candidate.
According to sources, while Shaikh is in talks with the BJP, Congress top leaders were trying hard to retain him for the Malad seat to ensure their win. Speaking on condition of anonymity, a senior Congress leader said, "The party functionaries have already decided to retain sitting MLAs and hence there is no question on whether Shaikh will get a ticket or not. We are trying hard to convince him to file his nomination from our party, as we are sure he will win the seat for us."
All lost in 2014
In the 2014 Assembly elections, Sena candidates had lost Mankhurd and Dharavi seats while BJP candidates were on the second position in Byculla, Mumbadevi and Malad segments. However, Congress's Kalidas Kolambkar and Naseem Khan had won Wadala and Chandivali respectively.
MNS releases first list
The first list of candidates released by the Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) has no mention of who would fight from the Worli seat.
Further, big names like Bala Nandgaonkar and Nitin Sardesai are also missing from the list.
However, Sandeep Deshpande, a key MNS leader, has been given an opportunity to contest from the Mahim Assembly segment where the party had defeated Sena in 2009.
Further, Nayan Kadam has been given a ticket from Magathane and Akhil Chitre will contest from Bandra East.
No. of seats the parties lost last time
Total no. of assembly seats in Mumbai
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