MUMBAI: The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Tuesday formally inducted Congress leader Rajendra Gavit even as Shrinivas, the son of former BJP MP Adv Chintaman Wanga, filed papers for the by election form the Palghar Lok Sabha constituency as Shiv Sena candidate.
"The state BJP core committee had decided to field Wanga’s son from the seat. However, before any formal decision could be made, he joined the Shiv Sena. He was deliberately kept out of touch of our leaders," Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis said at a press conference in the evening while blaming the Shiv Sena for breach of trust. Fadnavis also announced induction of Gavit into the party.
Gavit, who was minister of state for the Tribal Affairs in the erstwhile UPA government in the state, had lost to the BJP candidate by merely 200 votes in 2014 assembly elections. Gavit is also credited with efforts for formation of the Palghar district. That is the reason, he said, he is confident of winning the seat.
Core committee of our party has decided to field Gavit as party candidate for the Lok Sabha by poll. We have recommended his name to the parliamentary committee and his name is likely to be announced formally by tonight, Fadnavis said.
"Adv Wanga had nurtured the party in the district and hence BJP winning the seat would essentially mean a true tribute to him," he added.
On the other hand state Congress president Ashok Chavan blamed the BJP for poaching. “BJP is losing ground very fast in the state and that is evident in the poaching," Chavan said after Gavit formally joined the BJP. Earlier in the day the Congress had offered the seat to Gavit. However, now the party is likely to field its former MP Damu Shingda.
A local front Bahujan Vikas Aghadi is likely to filed Baliram Jadhav. He had finished a distant third in the 2014 Lok Sabha polls.
With CPM too likely to field their own candidate, it is likely to be a five-cornered fight for the Palghar Loh Sabha seat in the by election.
The polls have been necessitated following the death of sitting BJP MP Chintaman Wanga, who died following a heart attack on 30 January in New Delhi. The political scene in ST-reserved seat of Palghar – that is on the far western suburbs of Mumbai has heated up ahead of the 28 May election.