BJP names 20 Maha candidates in 2nd LS list; Gadkari from Nagpur, Pankaja Munde in Beed, 4 MPs axed

Mumbai, March 13 (IANS) The Bharatiya Janata Party on Wednesday announced 20 candidates from Maharashtra in its 2nd list of Lok Sabha candidates, including Union Minister Nitin Gadkari from Nagpur and Piyush Goyal from Mumbai North, and BJP Secretary Pankaja Munde from Beed, while 4 sitting MPs have been dropped.

Prominent names include Raosaheb D. Danve (Jalna), Dr Bharati P. Pawar (Dindori–ST), Dr Heena V. Gavit (Nandurbar), Dr. Subhash R. Bhamre (Dhule), Raksha N. Khadse (Raver), state Minister Sudhir Mungantiwar (Chandrapur), Mihir Kotecha (Mumbai North East), Dr. Sujaya R. Vikhe-Patil (Ahmednagar), and Ranjitsinh H. Naik-Nimbalkar (Madha).

The other candidates are Sanjaykaka Patil (Sangli), Sudhakar T. Shrangare (Latur–SC), Murlidhar K. Mohol (Pune), Kapil M. Patil (Bhiwandi), Prataprao P. Chikhalikar (Nanded), Ramdas C. Tadas (Wardha), Anup Dhotre (Akola), and Smita Wagh (Jalgaon).

The BJP has dropped four sitting MPs: Union Minister Goyal replaces Gopal C. Shetty (Mumbai North) while Pankaja Munde has been nominated in place of her sister and two-time MP Dr Pritam Munde (Beed), Mihir Kotecha comes in place of Manoj K. Kotak (Mumbai North East), and Smita Wagh replaces Unmesh B. Patil (Jalgaon).

State Minister Mungantiwar, a four-time legislator and minister for several years, has been fielded from Chandrapur for his parliamentary polls debut where he will lock horns with the sole Congress MP in outgoing Lok Sabha, Suresh N. Dhanorkar.

Union Minister Gadkari – whose name did not figure in the first BJP list issued last week – will be contesting from Nagpur for a third consecutive time, while the sulking Munde has been accommodated in place of her sibling in Beed.

The BJP’s list of 20 candidates from the 48 constituencies in the state suggests that unless another list is released, the remaining 18 seats are likely to be distributed among its other MahaYuti allies – the Shiv Sena of Chief Minister Eknath Shinde and Nationalist Congress Party of Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar, plus other smaller parties.

Shinde’s son Dr Shrikant Shinde, a sitting MP from Kalyan, is likely to contest from Shiv Sena, while Ajit Pawar’s wife Sunetra A. Pawar is hopeful of an NCP ticket from Baramati.



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