Shiv Sena ‘unilaterally’ announces LS candidate from Nashik, BJP miffed

Mumbai, March 13 (IANS) Senior Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Pravin Darekar has slammed ruling ally Shiv Sena after the latter ‘unilaterally’ announced sitting two-time MP Hemant Godse as its candidate for the prestigious Nashik Lok Sabha seat, here on Wednesday.

Another BJP leader from Nashik, Dinkar Patil, said that Shinde’s announcement has no worth, and several other functionaries also flayed the development that suggest cracks in the MahaYuti.

The BJP’s response came after Shiv Sena MP Shrikant E. Shinde – son of party President and Chief Minister Eknath Shinde – rattled the ruling MahaYuti alliance by ‘declaring’ Godse as its nominee from Nashik Lok Sabha constituency.

“Shrikant Shinde has no authority to decide on this. The three allies will jointly discuss this and then select the appropriate candidate. People keep demanding any seat they want, but only those who are suitable will be allotted the particular constituency,” said Pravin Darekar.

He added that if the CM had made such an announcement, he would have done it after discussing with the MahaYuti allies – the Shiv Sena-Bharatiya Janata Party-Nationalist Congress Party.

On March 12, Shinde shook the MahaYuti by making the statement amid a thunderous applause at a Karyakarta Samvad of the party which was attended by District Guardian Minister Dada Bhuse and others.

Shinde said that he has witnessed Godse’s hard work in the parliament and the Nashik-kars’ love for him, and “let me assure that the Nashik seat will be contested by the Shiv Sena and the candidate will be none other than Godse.”

The surprise announcement came barely 48 hours after another strong contender Swami Shantigiri Maharaj met CM Shinde on Sunday to stake his claim, which also has support from a section of the BJP.

Taken aback by the sudden twist on Tuesday, Swami Shantigiri Maharaj on Wednesday indicated that if he was not given a ticket by the MahaYuti, then he would contest as an independent.

On his part, Godse took a potshot at other strong contenders for the Nashik seat within the MahaYuti, asking them “not to get upset” by his candidature as the senior leaders are taking the decisions, besides referring to his good work as MP for the past two terms.

To a question whether he would give a ‘hat-trick’ performance, Godse guardedly said that “it will be decided by the electorate of Nashik” who are seeing the development work and party building that I have done in the past 10 years.

A Lok Sabha MP from Kalyan, Shinde said that Nashik is a Shiv Sena bastion and as important as Thane (the CM’s home district) for the party.

“The Nashik people have always stood behind Shiv Sena and Balasaheb Thackeray. Little wonder that Godse was elected twice from here. This (2024) is an important election for PM Narendra Modi and CM Shinde, so we have decided that our candidate (Godse) should be someone who has a good track record in the constituency,” asserted Shinde.

Godse also lauded the PM and CM for their people-oriented policies keeping the common man as the centre, strong leadership and taking bold decision in the national interest which would ensure that a MahaYuti candidate will be re-elected by the masses in Nashik

Even as his party workers were told “to get down to work”, Godse said that he has already covered 90 per cent of the pre-election tour of his constituency and complete the remaining in the next couple of days.

(Quaid Najmi can be contacted at: [email protected])



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