BJP announces observers for 23 Lok Sabha seats in Maharashtra 

The observers will be responsible for reviewing the Lok Sabha constituencies, assessing the performance of the MPs, interact with local MLAs and office bearers

February 28, 2024 10:11 pm | Updated 10:12 pm IST - Pune

Girding up for the upcoming Lok Sabha election, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has announced a list of 46 observers for 23 Lok Sabha constituencies in Maharashtra.

Two ‘inspectors’ have been appointed for each of the 23 constituencies that the saffron party had won (of the 25 it contested on) in the 2019 General Election in Maharashtra. The list of observers include sitting MLAs like Maharashtra BJP top guns Girish Mahajan and Radhakrishna Vikhe-Patil; Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha MPs like Manoj Kotak and Medha Kulkarni, as well as Ministers, former Members of Parliament and office bearers.

Sources said there would be a meeting of the observers on Thursday.

Former State Minister Pankaja Munde, known for her disaffection with the party high command, has been given the responsibility of overseeing the North Mumbai Lok Sabha seat, presently represented by Gopal Shetty, who won the 2019 General Election with a colossal vote margin of 4.65 lakh votes – the highest margin achieved by a candidate in the State.

Ms. Munde, who was not nominated for the Rajya Sabha in the recent polls, has been gunning for a Lok Sabha candidature.

Maharashtra Minister Girish Mahajan, who has been entrusted with the Mumbai North-East constituency, is being tipped to contest the Raver Lok Sabha constituency in Jalgaon.

Likewise, State Forest Minister Sudhir Mungantiwar, whose name is being floated for candidature from the Chandrapur Lok Sabha constituency, has been appointed as observer for the Beed Lok Sabha seat.

Manoj Kotak, the sitting MP of Mumbai North-East, has been entrusted with the responsibility of the Nagpur seat.

Significantly, the BJP has not appointed any observers for Baramati (in Pune district) and Chandrapur (in Vidarbha), seats which it had lost in 2019.

The observers will be responsible for reviewing the Lok Sabha constituencies, assessing the performance of the MPs of respective constituencies, interact with local BJP MLAs and office bearers, and report to their superiors.

In the 2019 Lok Sabha election, the BJP, which was then in alliance with Uddhav Thackeray’s undivided Shiv Sena, had contested on 25 of the 48 Lok Sabha seats in Maharashtra, winning an impressive 23 of them.

Mr. Thackeray’s Sena had won 18 of the 23 seats it contested. However, following current CM Eknath Shinde’s rebellion and the collapse of Mr. Thackeray’s erstwhile Maha Vikas Aghadi government, 13 of these 18 Sena MPs have now come over to Mr. Shinde’s side.

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