Trupti Sawant rebels as Shiv Sena fields Vishwanath Mahadeshwar
The sitting MLA had won the 2015 by-election to Bandra East Assembly by a huge margin; Versova's Raju Patel too goes the independent way
Shiv Sena's Trupti Bala Sawant, who defeated Narayan Rane with a margin of over 19,000 votes during the 2015 by-election for Bandra East Assembly, has filed nomination as an Independent candidate this time. The move is a result of the Sena giving a ticket to Mumbai Mayor Vishwanath Mahadeshwar from the seat. Another Sena corporator, Rajul Patel, too has filed an Independent nomination from the Versova Assembly. Sena sources said that they will talk to Sawant and try and convince her to withdraw her nomination.
While Mahadeshwar's name had been doing the rounds for almost a month, sources close to Sawant said that she was confident of retaining the Bandra East Assembly seat. But with the Thackeray family announcing Mahadeshwar's name on Thursday, Sawant was upset. On Friday afternoon, she filed a nomination as an independent candidate.
Sawant's husband, Prakash (Bala) Sawant won the 2014 Assembly election from Bandra East against BJP's Krishna Parkar with a margin of over 15,000 votes. Bala Sawant is feared to be a favourable factor for Trupti, revealed Sena sources. Sena top bosses, who had feared this outcome, pushed the official declaration of the candidate's name to the last minute to keep rebels in check.
After the announcement, a visibly upset Sawant said, "I was made to wait till Friday morning but the other candidate was given a ticket at midnight and I was not even intimated. What is the use of being so loyal if this is the treatment I get? Even if they try to convince me, I will not withdraw."
A Sena leader said, "We are trying to convince Trupti Sawant as Bala Sawant was a very close Sena aide and he would have never done anything to go against the party. We are hopeful that she will take back her nomination as there are still two days for doing so."
Versova in limbo, too
Another old Sena loyalist and a corporator who was given a ticket in 2014 from Versova was rejected this time. Bharati Lavekar was shortlisted for the seat instead. The BJP's choice of candidate, however, has upset Sena's Rajul Patel who then decided to fight independently. Patel's might cause a dent to the coalition votes. "I have nothing against my party or the BJP but it was the choice of candidate that upset me. Had it been someone else, I would have willingly helped them win."
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