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Lok Sabha elections 2024: AAP throws weight behind Shiv Sena (UBT) in Kalyan seat battle

Updated on: 17 April,2024 07:25 AM IST  |  Mumbai
Ranjeet Jadhav |

Strategy meeting held; AAP, along with INDIA bloc partners, to campaign for Vaishali; Kalyan constituency becomes a battleground for prestige

Lok Sabha elections 2024: AAP throws weight behind Shiv Sena (UBT) in Kalyan seat battle

AAP office bearers meet in office of Vaishali along with leaders of Shiv Sena (UBT), NCP (SP), and Congress

Key Highlights

  1. AAP seems to be putting all its support behind UBT
  2. A meeting to prepare the strategy took place last evening
  3. Kalyan Lok Sabha Seat has become a prestige issue for Chief Minister Eknath Shinde

As the battle for the Kalyan seat intensifies between Srikant Shinde of Shiv Sena and Vaishali Darekar-Rane of Shiv Sena (UBT), the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) seems to be putting all its support behind UBT. A meeting to prepare the strategy took place last evening.

“On Monday night, the AAP office bearers met in the election office of Vaishali Darekar-Rane along with former corporators of Shiv Sena (UBT), NCP (SP), and Congress where the strategy was discussed with local Shiv Sena (UBT) leaders. AAP, along with the INDIA bloc partners, will be organising padyatras and door-to-door campaigning in the Lok Sabha constituency. We are confident that everyone who wants to save democracy will come forward and vote for Vaishali,” said Deepak Dubey, Social Media In-charge of AAP- Thane district.

AAP has good support in the Mumbra Kalwa assembly constituency, as its candidate had secured over 30 thousand votes in the constituency during the 2019 Assembly elections. Dubey also said that AAP had contested from Kalyan Lok Sabha Constituency in 2014, and their candidate had secured around 21-22 thousand votes, which could be crucial during the 2024 Lok Sabha constituency.

The six Assembly constituencies in the Kalyan Lok Sabha constituency include Ambernath, Ulhasnagar, Kalyan East, Dombivli, Kalyan Rural, and Mumbra Kalwa. BJP has a total of 3 MLAs, Shiv Sena has one MLA, NCP (SP)has one MLA, and MNS has one MLA. In the past, there have also been reports in the media about how the BJP cadre in the constituency had reservations over the candidature of Dr Shrikant Shinde. However, it is also said that the differences have been sorted out, but it will be interesting to see what happens on the ground.

Kalyan Lok Sabha Seat has become a prestige issue for Chief Minister Eknath Shinde, as his Son Dr Shinde, a two-time sitting MP from this seat, is contesting for the third time. Before the Shiv Sena (UBT) announced the candidature of Vaishali Darekar for this seat, many names were making rounds to contest from the UBT faction, which includes Shiv Sena (UBT) leaders Aaditya Thackeray, Sushma Andhare, Kedar Dighe. Kedar is also the nephew of Anand Dighe.

Vaishali had contested the 2009 Lok Sabha seat on the MNS ticket opposite Shiv Sena Leader Anand Paranjpe, and NCP leader Vasant Davkhare. In this triangular fight, Paranjpe had defeated Davkhare by 24 thousand votes. Vaishali had then secured around 1.02 lakh votes. In 2010, Vaishali Darekar was elected as a corporator in the Kalyan Dombivali Municipal Corporation, and she also worked as the leader of the opposition in KDMC. However, due to differences within the party at the local level, Vaishali joined Shiv Sena again, and she remained with the UBT faction even after the split.

There have also been talks about the cold war in the Kalyan Lok Sabha constituency between BJP and Shiv Sena Eknath Shinde faction, making the Lok Sabha fight more interesting. What is adding more fuel to the fight is the recent firing incident where BJP leader Ganpat Gaikwad fired bullets at Mahesh Gaikwad, the leader of Shiv Sena Shinde faction. The political rivalry between BJP MLA Ravindra Chavan and Dr Shinde is also talked about in the constituency. It is also said that MNS MLA Raju Patil, who also has huge voter support in the area, does not gel well with Dr Shinde.

A local Shiv Sainik from Kalyan associated with the Eknath Shinde faction said, “Dr Shinde has done a lot of work in the constituency, and so we are confident that he will win this seat. It will not be easy for Vaishali Darekar-Rane to win the seat because our alliance partner BJP is also working together to make sure that Dr Shinde wins.” It is also said that some local leaders in Shiv Sena (UBT) are not happy, as some feel neglected since a ticket was given to Darekar who joined back the party from MNS.

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