According to sources in the party, it is considering fielding candidates in Lok Sabha elections from two city constituencies that currently have MPs from the Shinde-led Sena
Sources say that Mangal Prabhat Lodha and Rahul Narwekar are being considered for the South Lok Sabha seat. File pics
- The BJP appears ready to flex its muscles in Maharashtra
- The first to feel the impact is likely to be Chief Minister Eknath Shinde
- A source in the BJP said that the party is in a stronger position than Shinde’s Shiv Sena
After securing victories in three states in the recently concluded assembly elections, the BJP appears ready to flex its muscles in Maharashtra. The first to feel the impact is likely to be Chief Minister Eknath Shinde, who is leading the Shiv Sena.
Sources in the BJP indicate that the party is considering contesting Lok Sabha elections from Mumbai’s North West and South constituencies. In the 2019 general election, the BJP contested from the North East, North and North Central constituencies, while its alliance partner, the then undivided Shiv Sena, contested from the North West, South Central and South constituencies. Both won in all constituencies.
After the split, Shiv Sena MP from North West Gajanan Kirtikar and South Central’s MP Rahul Shewale, joined Shinde’s faction and MP from South constituency, Arvind Sawant, remained with Shiv Sena (UBT).
A source in the BJP said that the party is in a stronger position than Shinde’s Shiv Sena in Mumbai. “We can contest in five Lok Sabha constituencies in Mumbai. After a clean victory in three states, we have achieved a more dominating position than the alliance partner in Maharashtra,” the source said.
Sources claimed that the BJP is considering two names for the South constituency—Minister Mangal Prabhat Lodha and Rahul Narwekar, Speaker in the State assembly. The BJP has two MLAs in the six Vidhan Sabha constituencies within the Lok Sabha South constituency—Lodha is the MLA of the Malabar Hill constituency and Narvekar is the MLA of the Colaba constituency. The Shiv Sena (UBT) also has two MLAs—Aditya Thackeray from Worli and Ajay Chowdary from Sewri. MLA Yamini Jadhav from Byculla constituency is with the Shinde-led Shiv Sena. The Mumbadevi constituency has Congress’s Amin Patel as its MLA.
In the North West constituency, three MLAs are from the BJP and the other three are with Shiv Sena (UBT). Sources said the BJP considers itself to be in a stronger position here even though the Lok Sabha incumbent is from Shinde’s camp. No potential candidates appear to be in consideration as yet.
Meanwhile, BJP spokesperson Bhalchandra Shirsat said that discussions on Lok Sabha elections have not begun.
“Three Lok Sabha constituencies are with the Shiv Sena and we will contest them again. All three will remain with the Shiv Sena,” Kirtikar from the Shinde-led Sena said.
On the other hand, there is also a tussle between two Shiv Sena leaders—Kiritkar and Ramdas Kadam over the North West constituency. In a November 18 report, mid-day had shed light on Kirtikar’s desire to contest a fourth time and Kadam’s attempts to get the seat for his son. Kirtikar’s son, Amol, who is with the Shiv Sena (UBT), may contest from the same constituency.