Most axed BJP MPs bow to party’s will; Dy CM Fadnavis douses fire in Mumbai North

Mumbai, March 14 (IANS) A day after the BJP dropped four sitting MPs and replaced one for the forthcoming Lok Sabha polls, most leaders seem to have accepted the party’s decision, however, Deputy Chief Minister, Devendra Fadnavis, had to rush to the home of one MP in a firefighting operation late on Wednesday night.

Amid reports that the veteran two-time Mumbai North MP, Gopal C Shetty, was fuming after he was dropped in favour of Union Minister Piyush Goyal – attempting his Lok Sabha debut – Dy CM Fadnavis dropped in at his home in Borivali on Wednesday night to soothe ruffled feathers.

Dy CM Fadnavis has reportedly assured the dejected MP that he will be treated in a dignified manner in future party endeavours and Gopal C Shetty is understood to have reluctantly acquiesced, local party leaders said, ruling out the possibility of any revolt.

Similarly, two-time Beed MP, Dr Pritam G Munde, has been ignored in favour of her sister and BJP National Secretary, Pankaja G Munde, though the former has not yet made any defiant remarks.

The two leaders are the daughters of former Union Minister and ex-Dy CM Gopinath Munde, who died in a road crash 10 years ago in New Delhi.

There is speculation that Dr. Pritam Munde may be given some other plum responsibility later.

One-time MP from Mumbai North East, Manoj K Kotak, has been removed in favour of Mihir Kotecha, disappointing his supporters.

However, after the initial dejection, the Mumbai North East MP quickly concurred with the party’s decision and thanked Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, Union Home Minister, Amit Shah, BJP President, JP Nadda and the people of his constituency for giving him the opportunity to serve the masses. He promised to work as per the party’s directives.

After the initial shock subsided, sitting Jalgaon MP, Unmesh B Patil, also accepted the BJP’s move to nominate its leader Smita Wagh. He highlighted his contributions to building the party in the region and promised to continue in the same vein.

In view of the poor health of four-time Akola MP, Sanjay Dhotre, the BJP has decided to nominate his son, Anup S Dhotre for the seat, cashing in on the goodwill the family enjoys there.

A newcomer has been named for the Pune Lok Sabha seat that fell vacant after the death of sitting MP, Girish B Bapat in March 2023, and it will now be contested by state BJP Secretary and ex-Pune Mayor Murlidhar K Mohol.

Despite his assertions to the contrary, state Minister, Sudhir S Mungantiwar, has been nominated for a Lok Sabha debut from Chandrapur – the sole seat bagged by the Congress in 2019.

Out of the list of 20 BJP Lok Sabha candidates released on Wednesday, Maharashtra will see around 35 per cent new faces competing to make a mark with veterans, in what promises to be a tough fight in a political cauldron having multiple parties and alliances in the fray.

The real picture would emerge after the BJP’s next list and the candidates of its alliance partners like Shiv Sena of Chief Minister Eknath Shinde, Nationalist Congress Party of Deputy CM, Ajit Pawar, and other smaller parties are announced shortly.

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



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