Mumbai seat barter
BJP aims to go south, Shiv Sena pointing north
After basting an alliance, the Shiv Sena and BJP are mulling over bartering the . In totaling, an exchange of seats is also being considered at Jalna and Hingoli in Marathwada between the two parties.
As per a senior Shiv Sena leader, he seat swap was discussed by Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis and Sena president Uddhav Thackeray during a late-night meeting on Tuesday.
On a condition of anonymity, the BJP leader said that there are proposals to give up Mumbai South in favour of Mumbai North East. The proposal is being considered. The Mumbai South seat is represented by the Sena’s Arvind Sawant, who had won a shock victory over Milind Deora of the Congress.
The Shiv Sena is keen to extort the Mumbai North East seat, which is represented by its bete noir, Kirit Somaiya of the BJP.
The Shiv Sena feels it has a better chance of making it in Mumbai North East, which has a strong presence of the Marathi middle and working classes. The Sena is opposed to Somaiya, who has taken it on in the past, and is hoping that any other leader like state housing minister Prakash Mehta be nominated by the BJP from the constituency.
We are also discussing if the Jalna and Hingoli seats can be swapped,” the Sena leader admitted. BJP state unit chief Raosaheb Patil Danve is an MP from Jalna in Marathwada, and Sena minister of state Arjun Khotkar fancies a shot at winning the constituency.
Earlier in 2017, after the Sena announced its short-lived resolve to contest elections without allying with BJP, Khotkar had been preparing for a contest against Danve. With Sena finally deciding to partner with BJP last month, a miffed Khotkar was said to be planning to jump ship to the Congress for a Lok Sabha contest.
CM Fadnavis is likely to meet Khotkar next week to placate him. If this goes well, status quo will be maintained in Jalna and Hingoli, otherwise we may have to swap,” said the Sena leader. The Hingoli seat, which is in Sena’s quota, is represented by Congress’s Rajiv Satav. In 2014, Satav defeated the then Sena MP Subhash Wankhede, who has since switched to BJP. NCP leader Suryakanta Patil, a former MP from Hingoli, has also joined the BJP.
Putting speculation to rest, Shiv Sena president Uddhav Thackeray said his son, the president of Yuva Sena, Aaditya, would not contest the Lok Sabha polls.
The BJP-Shiv Sena coalition will kick-start its Lok Sabha poll campaign from Kolhapur district in Maharashtra on March 24, a BJP leader said on Wednesday
Sanjay M Bhaire
(Editor-In-Chief, Across State, Across Mumbai News)
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