Sena yet to announce list, but 70 candidates get nomination forms

Most MLAs fielded again, new entrants get a chance too

Even though the Shiv Sena is yet to announce its candidates for the Assembly elections, party chief Uddhav Thackeray is busy handing out nomination forms to finalised candidates. The Sena is likely to contest 124 of the 288 seats, and Mr. Thackeray has given forms to around 70 candidates so far.

Sources said most existing MLAs have been repeated, while turncoats from other parties who recently joined the Sena will also be fielded.

Rumours are rife that Congress MLA Aslam Shaikh will join the Sena and be its candidate from Malad West. He is said to have a strong hold over the Malad-Malvani area, which has a sizeable Muslim population. Meanwhile, there is ambiguity over Mayor Vishwanath Mahadeshwar’s candidature from Bandra East, as the party may repeat MLA Trupti Sawant. While the Sena has not published a list yet, sources confirmed that Mr. Thackeray has finalised 70 candidates so far., including his son Aaditya from Worli constituency. Former Dahisar MLA Vinod Ghosalkar has been allotted Shrivardhan as the Dahisar seat is with the BJP. In the last election, which the allies fought separately, the BJP’s Manisha Choudhary defeated Mr. Ghosalkar.

MLAs who have been given another chance include Eknath Shinde from Kopri-Pachpakhadi, Ajay Chaudhari from Sewri, Sunil Prabhu from Dindoshi, Ravindra Waikar from Jogeshwari East, Prakash Surve from Magathane, Sunil Raut from Vikhroli, Ramesh Latke from Andheri East, Tukaram Kate from Anushakti Nagar, Prakash Phatarpekar from Chembur, Mangesh Kudalkar from Kurla, Sanjay Potnis from Kalina and Sada Sarvankar from Mahim.

Sena functionary Pandurang Sapkal has been fielded in Mumbadevi against sitting MLA Amin Patel. Byculla will see a three-pronged fight as the Sena has fielded former corporator Yamini Jadhav, the wife of standing committee chairman Yashwant Jadhav. She is likely to be pitted against Samajwadi Party’s Rais Shaikh and incumbent AIMIM MLA Waris Pathan.

Turncoats have been duly rewarded, with Beed MLA Jaydutt Kshirsagar and Sillod MLA Abdul Sattar, who defected from the NCP and the Congress respectively, likely to be fielded as Sena candidates from the same seats. Former encounter specialist police officer Pradeep Sharma will contest from Nallasopara on a Sena ticket.

The Sena has not been allotted any seats in Pune and Nagpur districts as part of the seat-sharing deal.

A senior Sena leader said on the condition of anonymity, “We have repeated MLAs who performed well during their tenure. Any party looks at a candidate’s ability to win in the election, so have we. This election is a clean sweep for the Sena-BJP as the opposition parties do not stand any chance.”

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Printable version | Apr 7, 2020 5:30:36 AM |

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