Mumbai Diary: Senior BJP leaders seek shot at fame

Pankaja Munde, who lost against the NCP (SP) candidate Bajrang Sonawane, in a bid to remain relevant, is lending active support to OBC agitation
Devendra Fadnavis.
Devendra Fadnavis.(File photo| PTI)

During his tenure as the Chief Minister and later as the Leader of Opposition, Devendra Fadnavis had cut to size other Maharashtra BJP top brass seeking to lay claim on the Chief Minister’s Office. Now, after a BJP debacle in the Lok Sabha polls, these ‘sidelined’ leaders see a window of opportunity to make a return into active politics. One such leader, Ekanth Khadse, who joined NCP following a fiery exchange with state BJP leadership, wants to return to his former party. Pankaja Munde, who lost against the NCP (SP) candidate Bajrang Sonawane, in a bid to remain relevant, is lending active support to OBC agitation.

Another Pawar in Baramati?

In the Baramati Lok Sabha seat, deputy CM Ajit Pawar’s brother Srinivas Pawar campaigned for Supriya Sule and not his brother’s spouse Sunetra Pawar. Srinivas’s son Yogendra Pawar was the first to make the move against his uncle Ajit Pawar, actively rallying in support for auut Supriya. Sule won LS election by over 1.50 lakh votes, including a 48,000-vote-lead in Baramati assembly segment. Yogendra Pawar sees this significant margin to Supriya Sule in the assembly as a window to keep foot in the arena of assembly polls against his uncle Ajit in the coming days.

Successful strategist to aid Cong in Maha

The Congress has decided to engage political strategist Sunil Kanugolu for the Maharashtra and Haryana assembly elections. Kanugolu and his team have worked with Congress in the Karnataka and Telangana assembly polls and is already in Mumbai where they have started working with the Maharashtra Pradesh Congress to design an effective strategy and campaign theme, seeking to replicate its success in Karnataka. The process of data mining and subsequent trend analysis has been initiated in full force, sources said, saying that multiple parameters are being considered while refraining from disclosing any more information.

Sudhir Suryawanshi

Our correspondent in Maharashtra

suryawanshi.sudhir@gmail.com

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