NEW DELHI: Turncoats dominated the BJP’s first list of 125 candidates for Maharashtra Assembly election to be held on October 21, even as names of three ministers and at least a dozen of sitting MLAs are missing from the list that was released on Tuesday.
Shiv Sena too announced its first list of 70 candidates where the party leadership’s fears of large-scale rebellion have clearly reflected.
BJP’s list has Shivendrasinh Raje Bhosale and Udayanraje Bhosale (for Lok Sabha bypoll), the direct descendants of King Shivaji and Pune mayor Mukta Tilak, who hails from the family of Bal Gangadhar Tilak.
Minister for youth, sports, cultural affairs, minorities and protocol Vinod Tawde, who had won from Borivali constituency in Mumbai in 2014, Power minister Chandrashekhar Bawankule who had won from Koradi near Nagpur, and Ambarish Raje Atram, who had won from Aheri constituency in Gadchiroli are not on the BJP’s first list of candidates.
Another minister missing from the first list is tribal development minister Vishnu Savara. He is doing unwell and party has fielded his son Dr Hemant from Vikramgad of Palghar district.
Two other former ministers Eknath Khadse (Muktainagar) and Prakash Mehta (Ghatkopar East) too are not on the first list. Both of them are senior BJP leaders and are from those few who were ministers in the Shiv Sena-BJP government between 1995-99. While Khadse, the then number two in cabinet, had resigned after corruption charges over a controversial land deal, Prakash Mehta was removed from the cabinet when the Lokayukta indicted him in a controversial decision regarding redevelopment proposal in Mumbai.
Khadse, however, filed his nomination today without waiting for party’s second list.
At least 12 of the sitting MLAs have been replaced by the party in the first list. Former minister of state Dileep Kamble from Pune Cantonment and Sardar Tara Singh from Mulund are prominent among this lot. Age and son’s involvement in PMC bank scam are the factors against Tarasingh, who has been representing the party in some or the other house for around 40 years.
Kalyan West MLA Narendra Pawar too is missing from the first list. Party sources have said that the party might field newly inducted NCP bigwig Ganesh Naik from the seat.
While the party has fielded 12 women candidates in the first list of 125 candidates, in Kothrud constituency from Pune, the party has decided to replace sitting MLA Prof Medha Kulkarni with state BJP president Chandrakant Patil.
Among others on the list, Abhimanyu Pawar, who had been working as personal secretary to Chief Minister Fadnavis for past five years, has been fielded from Ausa in Latur district.
Kalidas Kolambkar (Wadala), Harshawardhan Patil (Indapur), Sandip Naik (Airoli – Navi Mumbai), Vaibhav Pichad (Akola), Radhakrishna Vikhe Patil (Shirdi), Rana Jagjeetsinh Patil (Tuljapur), Jaykumar Gore (Man), Madan Bhosale (Wai), Shivendrasinh Raje Bhosale (Satara) and Amal Mahadeek (Kolhapur) are the ‘imported’ leaders who have featured on the BJP’s first list.
The party has retained 52 sitting MLAs according to today’s list.
The Shiv Sena too has retained most of its faces in the assembly. However, there is discontent within the party as some of its seats have gone to the BJP in exchange for alliance.