BJP leaders oppose sitting Sena MP Hemant Patil in Hingoli

April 01,2024

Amid the disputes with the BJP over Lok Sabha seats like Nashik, the Shiv Sena led by Eknath Shinde faced fresh trouble on Sunday when BJP party workers opposed the candidature of sitting Sena MP Hemant Patil and raised slogans to replace him at a party meeting in Hingoli. The Shiv Sena (UBT), on the other hand, witnessed some relief in Aurangabad when two competing candidates, former MP Chandrakant Khaire and aspirant Ambadas Danve, met and called for a truce.

Nashik has been a hotbed of trouble for the Shinde-led Sena. Despite having a sitting MP, Hemant Godse, there, the other Mahayuti alliance partners have been holding several rounds of discussions to finalise a candidate for the constituency. While NCP leader Chhagan Bhujbal is perceived as being the front-runner in the race, Godse, without waiting for a candidate to be announced, has begun his campaign.

BJP leader Girish Mahajan, while underplaying the claim by the Shinde faction, said that the BJP had three MLAs and 70 former corporators in Nashik, and thus every aspect would be considered before the final decision. While responding to this, Shinde faction spokesperson Sanjay Shirsat said that Godse was a sitting MP, and Mahajan needed to continue to play the role of firefighter and not get involved in other matters.

Amid this row, the Shinde faction faced new trouble in Marathwada over the candidature of another sitting MP, Hemant Patil from Hingoli. In a meeting at Hingoli on Sunday afternoon, BJP party workers openly opposed Patil’s candidature and raised slogans, demanding a BJP candidate for the seat. “The Shinde Sena has only one MLA of the six MLAs in Hingoli while the BJP has three,” said Bhimrao Keram, MLA from Kinwat, which is a part of the Hingoli Lok Sabha constituency. “Thus, party workers are demanding a change of candidate. We will inform the leadership about their sentiments and expect these to be considered.” Given the outrage of BJP party workers at the meeting, the Hingoli dispute will be yet another headache for CM Shinde, as he will have to protect his sitting MP.

The Thackeray faction, on the other hand, witnessed some relief as Ambadas Danve , the Sena (UBT) leader of the opposition in the legislative council, called truce on a seat dispute. Danve was denied a Lok Sabha ticket, which went to former MP Chandrakant Khaire instead. After the announcement of Khaire’s candidature, Danve had expressed his displeasure by saying that he would campaign for the party but not for Khaire. Later, speculation about Danve joining the BJP was rife but Danve ruled this out.

Party chief Uddhav Thackeray intervened and on Saturday called Danve to Mumbai. On Sunday, Danve went to Khaire’s home, felicitated him and said he would campaign for him. Khaire, responding to the overture, said that bygones should be bygones and both he and Danve would work together for the victory of the party from Aurangabad constituency.

Twist in Aurangabad

Ex-MLA from Kannad Harshwardhan Jadhav, who fought the 2019 Lok Sabha election from Aurangabad as an independent and received over 200,000 votes—which was said to be the reason for the defeat of Shiv Sena candidate Chandrakant Khaire—on Sunday brought in a new twist. Jadhav announced that he would again fight the election from Aurangabad and has sought a ticket from Vanchit Bahujan Aghadi chief Prakash Ambedkar. Jadhav’s move has set alarm bells ringing for the Shiv Sena (UBT).