Incidents of a clash between the Congress and the Shiv Sena in Mumbai and hurling of shoe at Chief Minister Ashok Chavan during a campaign procession at Nanded were reported on the last day for filing of nominations for the Maharashtra Assembly elections on Friday.
Maharashtra Pradesh Congress Committee president Manikrao Thakre had a narrow escape in the morning while travelling from Nagpur to Yavatmal in a helicopter. One of the engines failed while the other one was not functioning, said Sanjay Dutt, MLC and media coordinator of the MPCC. The helicopter had to return to Nagpur. Travelling with Mr. Thakre were Congress spokesperson Mohan Prakash and former MP Haribhau Rathod.
In Loha tehsil of Nanded district, Chief Minister was in the centre of a storm when a procession to file nominations got unruly. Nanded Superintendent of Police Satyanarayan Chowdhary told The Hindu that the Chief Minister was travelling in an open jeep with Nationalist Congress Party candidate Shankar Dhondge and supporters. Simultaneously sitting MLA Pratap Patil Chikhlikar, a Vilasrao Deshmukh supporter, led another procession on the same civil road, in violation of prohibitory orders. Mr. Chikhlikar, who was denied a ticket in the elections and is contesting as an independent.
“Mr. Chikhlikar started shouting slogans and creating a nuisance,” said Mr. Chowdhary. In the melee, shoes were hurled in the air, but the Chief Minister was not hurt. “We requested the Chief Minister to move in a closed vehicle. The incident lasted for two to three minutes and the police dispersed the crowd,” he said.
Meanwhile, in Mumbai, supporters of new Congress entrant and former Shiv Sena MLA Sada Sarvankar who went to file his nomination papers for the Mahim assembly seat had a run in with Shiv Sainiks who had come in support of their candidate Aadesh Bandekar. There was much slogan shouting and bravado as Sainiks abused Sarvankar for ditching the party.
Mr. Sarvankar was accompanied by State Industries Minister Narayan Rane.
While rebels including Amravati MLA Sunil Deshmukh filed his nomination, the Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) vice-president Avdhoot Wagh joined the Bharatiya Janata Party on Friday. The MNS is also stricken by rebels in its stronghold of Nashik.
The Congress has followed up the ticket to the president’s son in Amravati with two more tickets to the son of Union Heavy Industries Minister Vilasrao Deshmukh and Union Power Minister Sushilkumar Shinde.