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Tuesday, Dec 06, 2022

Andheri East bypoll: Uddhav-led Sena to launch door-to-door campaign for Rutuja Latke

The Andheri East Assembly seat fell vacant after Sena MLA Ramesh Latke succumbed to a heart attack in May this year. The bypoll will be a litmus test for the Shiv Sena, which has undergone a vertical split after a rebellion spearheaded by CM Eknath Shinde.

Shiv Sena president Uddhav Thackeray. (File Photo)

The Uddhav Thackeray-led Shiv Sena will be launching a door-to-door campaign ahead of the bypoll in the Andheri East Assembly Constituency to ensure the victory of its candidate Rutuja Latke, the wife of the late Sena MLA Ramesh Latke.

The BJP has fielded former Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) corporator Murji Patel in the seat. The Andheri East seat fell vacant after Ramesh Latke succumbed to a heart attack in May this year.

The bypoll will take place before the BMC elections and will be a litmus test for the Shiv Sena, which has undergone a vertical split after a rebellion spearheaded by Chief Minister Eknath Shinde and other MLAs. This will be the first election to take place since the rebellion.

The bypoll has generated intense interest as both factions of the Sena are in the race for the party’s ‘bow and arrow’ election symbol and the Election Commission of India (ECI) is currently hearing a plea to decide the ‘real’ Shiv Sena and allot it the poll symbol.

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Though the Shinde faction has not fielded a candidate, it will be supporting the BJP candidate against the Uddav-led Sena. During the last Assembly election in 2019, the BJP candidate had lost the seat, but this time the saffron party is expecting to win the seat considering the support of the Shinde faction.

Meanwhile, the Congress has extended its support to the Shiv Sena and has not fielded a candidate. The Uddhav faction hopes this will help it to gain Congress votes. “We are starting the door-to-door campaign which will help us to reach out to voters and show the work done by the late MLA,” said a Sena functionary from Andheri.

The social equation in the Andheri East constituency is likely to be a decisive factor since there is a mixed population of various castes and religions.

First published on: 07-10-2022 at 11:10:33 am
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