BJP drops Khadse, fields his daughter...
Khadse had been sidelined in the party following allegations of corruption and that he misused his office in a land deal. He had to resign as Revenue Minister in 2016 and has not been taken back into the Cabinet by Chief Minister Fadnavis. Party sources said it was made clear to him that he would not be given ticket this time.
Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis (R) with Shiv Sena Chief Uddhav Thackeray (L) and Yuva Sena Chief Aaditya Thackeray during the announcement of parties' Maha Yuti (Grand alliance) in Mumbai on Friday. (PTI)
The BJP has so far declared candidates on 150 seats in the state which has a 288-member assembly. The BJP and Shiv Sena are the main constituents of the ruling alliance in Maharashtra. However, they have still not officially declared their seat-sharing formula. The Shiv Sena has given AB (nomination) forms to more than 100 candidates.
Congress fields Hamlata Patil from Nashik Central, Suresh Thorat from Shirdi: The Congress approved the candidature of Hamlata Ninad Patil from Nashik Central and Suresh Jagannath Thorat from Shirdi for upcoming Assembly polls. The Congress will be contesting the polls in alliance with the NCP. Both parties will contest on 125 seats each in the 288-member Assembly and its allies will field their candidates on rest 38 seats.
BJP to contest 150, Sena 124 seats: CM Legislative Council from the BJP quota. “The alliance will post an unprecedented victory,” Fadnavis said.
Asked about rebel candidates, Fadnavis said, “They will be asked to withdraw within two days, or else they will be shown their place.” Others doubted whether the two parties would come together for elections this time, “but there was no doubt in our minds”, Fadnavis said. The Sena and BJP had contested the State polls separately in 2014. “We had taken the decision early this year that the alliance would be for Lok Sabha as well as Assembly. Since we have to be together with our common thread of Hindutva despite having differences over some issues, all of us have made some compromises,” he said. To a question on denial of tickets to senior BJP leader Eknath Khadse and Cabinet Minister Vinod Tawde among others, Fadnavis said, “In a political party, responsibilities change. Those who were in Assembly earlier will now work outside it, and those who were in the organisation will now represent the party in the Assembly.”
Uddhav Thackeray’s son Aaditya, who is making electoral debut from Worli in Mumbai, was also present.
Referring to him, Fadnavis said, “Aaditya will win with a massive margin. He has been touring the State for last few years and now he will join us in the Assembly.”
Asked about Sena workers’s ‘dream’ of seeing Aaditya on the sixth floor of State Secretariat (which houses the offices of Chief Minister and Deputy Chief Minister), Uddhav Thackeray said, “What’s the harm in dreaming?”
“We are in this alliance with our hearts and mind. There is no issue of who is elder brother and who is younger brother here,” the Sena chief said.
“What is important is the relations between brothers remain strong. Aaditya is in politics to work for the State’s welfare, not for self-interest. After results, we will sit together and discuss Government formation,” Uddhav said.
“The situation prevailing before the Lok Sabha polls has changed,” he added.