Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) chief Sharad Pawar on Sunday sought the unopposed election of Rutuja Latke, the candidate of the Uddhav Thackeray faction of the Shiv Sena, in the Andheri East Assembly bypoll scheduled for November 3.
Rutuja Latke, the wife of former MLA Ramesh Latke, whose death necessitated the bypoll, is up against the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)‘s Murji Patel.
Incidentally, October 17 is the last date for withdrawal of nominations.
"The term for the new member (MLA) will be just one-and-half years. The bypoll is being held because of the unfortunate death of Ramesh Latke. His wife is contesting the seat. Latke was a corporator and an MLA. His contribution must be taken into consideration," Mr. Pawar said.
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Huge efforts go into fighting bypolls, which is not required when the term is just for around one year, he said, adding that five to six months are spent with the election code of conduct in place.
He also hailed the Bombay High Court order directing the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) to accept the resignation of Rutuja Latke so that she could fight the bypoll.
It is good the High Court showed proper direction to the concerned authorities, Mr. Pawar added.
Earlier in the day, Maharashtra Navirman Sena chief Raj Thackeray wrote to Deputy Chief Minister and BJP leader Devendra Fadnavis not to field his party's candidate for the bypoll as "reverence" to late Ramesh Latke.