The Maharashtra BJP Friday denied ticket to three-time MLA and Power Minister Chandrashekhar Bawankule from Kamptee Assembly constituency in Nagpur district and instead nominated Tekchand Sawarkar.
“Chief Minister Devendra Fadanvis and Union Minister Nitin Gadkari are like brother and father for me. The CM had told me that I have to over see elections in the entire East Vidarbha. The party has probably thought of giving me a greater responsibility. I don’t consider denial of ticket as injustice,” the Power minister said.
Bawankule said he had worked in Nagpur district for past 25 years, was elected twice to Zila Parishad and thrice to state Assembly.
Several theories about possible reasons behind party’s step denying ticket to Bawankule were making rounds over the past few days, including political discord between Gadkari and Modi-Shah duo due to Bawankule’s proximity to Gadkari.
Upset by BJP’s decision regarding Bawankule, the MLA’s supporters egged him to contest as an Independent candidate.
Speculations were also rife that Bawankule would be fielded from Katol constituency also in Nagpur district.
Simultaneously, there were also reports that NCP leader and former Minister Anil Deshmukh, a three-time winner from Katol, was planning to join the BJP.
On Thursday, Deshmukh started off with a rally to file nomination as NCP candidate but returned without filing papers, saying he was “three minutes late”, which had again given rise to fresh speculation. All speculations were finally laid to rest with Bawankule being denied ticket and Deshmukh filing papers as NCP candidate.