The Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) and Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) sprung a surprise on the last day of withdrawal of nominations by entering into a tactical understanding on some key assembly seats ahead of the Maharashtra assembly election.
The parties not only withdrew their candidates against each other on some important seats but also declared support to each other.
In the most crucial and most watched fights of Kothrud seat in Pune, the NCP has already declared that it won’t field a candidate but support the MNS candidate. BJP’s state president and revenue minister Chandrakant Patil is contesting from the seat.
The BJP fielded Patil over sitting MLA Medha Kulkarni. The MNS has fielded its local strongman Kishor Shinde. The Congress, too, has declared its support to the Raj Thackeray-led MNS.
In Nasik East, the MNS withdrew its candidate against the NCP.
Former mayor of Nasik and MNS leader, Ashok Murtadak withdrew his nomination on the last day to withdraw nominations and extended his support to NCP’s Balasaheb Sanap.
Sanap, who was a sitting BJP MLA from the seat, was denied a party ticket. An angry Sanap quit the party to join the NCP. The constituency will see an NCP vs BJP contest in the Maharashtra assembly election. Nasik was once known as MNS’s bastion, where Raj Thackeray is trying to find his lost ground.
In Thane city, the NCP withdrew its candidate, Suhas Desai and supported MNS’s Avinash Jadhav.
In Kankavli assembly seat, BJP rebel Sandesh Parkar withdrew his nomination and supported Shiv Sena’s Satish Sawant.
In spite of the BJP-Shiv Sena alliance in the Maharashtra assembly election, the BJP and Shiv Sena will see a contest against each other as the Shiv Sena is strongly opposed to the candidature of Nitesh Rane, son of former Sena man Narayan Rane.
In Nasik West assembly seat, Sena’s rebel Vilas Shinde will challenge BJP’s sitting MLA Seema Hire. The MNS, too, has fielded a former Shiv Sena leader from the seat.
In Vidarbha’s Yavatmal, all the five seats will see a fight between BJP- Shiv Sena’s official candidates versus the party rebels.
Sena rebel Santosh Dhawale will fight against BJP minister Madan Yerawar. In Darvha-Digras seat, BJP rebel Sanjay Rathod will challenge Shiv Sena minister Sanjay Rathod; in Vani constituency, Sena rebel Vishwas Nandekar will fight BJP’s Sanjeev Reddy and Vishwanath Vinkare f the Shiv Sena will challenge BJP’s Namdev Sasane in the Umerkhed seat.