Though the Shiv Sena is not ready to compromise on the Palghar issue, it has decided not to field a candidate for on Bhandara-Gondia.
Mumbai: The Shiv Sena will not field a candidate for the Bhandara-Gondia Lok Sabha bypoll, which will work in favour of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) candidate who is up against the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) candidate Praful Patel, who has the support of the Congress. The BJP will decide on its candidate on Monday night for the tough seat, which is being seen as a challenge for Maharashtra chief minister Devendra Fadnavis.
According to BJP sources, Mr Fadnavis may take an aggressive stand against the Shiv Sena, which has been behaving like an Opposition party while enjoying all the benefits of a ruling party that is supporting the government. Mr Fadnavis has prepared an aggressive strategy to tackle the situation in Palghar, the sources said.
The dispute between the Congress and NCP has been resolved and the NCP candidate, Mr Patel, will contest the elections. Securing the Bhandara-Gondia and Palghar seats has become prestige issue for Mr Fadnavis.
Due to lack of communication, BJP leaders have not handled the situation properly in Palghar and Shriniwas Vanaga joining the Sena camp is an embarrassment for the BJP, said sources. Though the Shiv Sena is not ready to compromise on the Palghar issue, it has decided not to field a candidate for on Bhandara-Gondia.
Sena is not strong in Vidarbha, so there is no point in contesting that seat, as the MP’s tenure would be less than a year, said senior Shiv Sena leader. Mr Patel is preparing for the bypoll while the NCP will declare its candidate on Tuesday. The party is thinking of fielding former MP Shishupal Patale, Hemant Patale or Khushal Bopche, said sources.