The BJP on Thursday reappointed Chandrakant Patil as the party’s Maharashtra unit president while Mangal Prabhat Lodha as the Mumbai BJP chief. Patil had taken over as the state BJP chief in July 2019, months before the state assembly elections, from Rao Saheb Danve-Patil, who was inducted as a Minister of State in the Narendra Modi-led central government.
Lodha too was appointed as the Mumbai BJP president in July 2019. The two have been given a full three-year term.
Patil had contested his first assembly election in 2019 and won from Kothrud constituency in Pune district. With speculation that former chief minister and MLA Devendra Fadnavis is being groomed for a bigger role at the Centre, Patil has emerged as the party’s second most dominant face in Maharashtra, despite his limited support base.
The immediate challenge for Lodha will be to help BJP take over the control of the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation from the Shiv Sena in the 2022 civic body polls. There had been speculation that the BJP could opt for a Marathi speaking face in order to blunt Sena’s son-of-the-soil electoral card.
However, the party seems to have chosen Lodha as he has created a niche for himself as a proponent of strong Hindutva ideology and hard nationalism.
In the run up to assembly elections, Lodha had received a notice from the EC after he had claimed that bombs were being manufactured in minority dominated areas.
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