MUMBAI: Maharashtra's political scenario has undergone huge changes ahead of the Assembly elections, with many senior politicians switching loyalties and migrating to rival political parties in a bid to stay in power.
Prominent among them is former Maharashtra Navnirman Sena MLA Ram Kadam, who had defeated late Pramod Mahajan's daughter Poonam Mahajan in Mumbai's Ghatkopar (West) constituency in the 2009 Assembly polls. He has now joined the BJP, after being apparently denied a ticket by the MNS.
Kadam is now a BJP candidate from the Ghatkopar (West) constituency of Mumbai.
Vijaykumar Gavit too had joined the BJP after being expelled by the NCP and is now a candidate from Nandurbar constituency.
Gavit's younger brothe Sharad, who defeated Congress strongman Surupsinh Naik from Nawapur constituency as a Samajwadi Party candidate in 2009, has now joined NCP.
The BJP has also taken on board Anil Bonde (independent MLA from Morshi) and Manikra Kokate (Congress MLA from Sinnar).
Prakash Shendge and Sambhaji Pawar were BJP MLAs from Western Maharashtra. Miffed with their parties for inducting local Congress-NCP leaders into the BJP, they quit.
Shendge is now an NCP candidate, while Pawar has chosen Sena.
Similarly, Rajendra Gavit a probable Sena candidate from Shahada, filed his nomination on an NCP ticket on the last day of forms submission.
Former Mumbai Mayor Shubha Raul and former Thane mayor Anant Tare, both deserted Shiv Sena, and are now contesting on MNS and BJP tickets respectively against Sena candidates.