Mumbai confidential: In Campaign Modehttps://indianexpress.com/article/cities/mumbai/mumbai-confidential-kirit-somaiya-bjp-maharashtra-elections-2019-5651969/

Mumbai confidential: In Campaign Mode

Just as uncertainty continues to prevail over his candidature from Mumbai North East, BJP’s sitting MP Kirit Somaiya has already hit the road, seeking votes for his re-election.

Kirit Somaiya, Maharashtra BJP, Manikrao Gavit, Shiv Sena, Uddhav Thackeray, Amit Shah, elections 2019, mumbai confidential, indian express
Kirit Somaiya

Just as uncertainty continues to prevail over his candidature from Mumbai North East, BJP’s sitting MP Kirit Somaiya has already hit the road, seeking votes for his re-election. Sources close to the high-profile politician confirmed that he has been holding marathon meetings with BJP’s booth-level workers across Assembly segments. Sources say that Somaiya has already completed a round of public campaigning as well. While the Shiv Sena has raised objections over Somaiya’s renomination, his camp remains confident of winning the ticket, with Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis himself involved in talks with the Sena leadership in this regard.

Rising Tempers

Manikrao Gavit is a miffed man. Smarting over the denial of ticket to either him or his son from the Nandurbar seat from where he has won nine times, the veteran Congress leader reportedly lost his cool last Saturday when All India Congress Committee’s (Maharashtra in-charge) refused to meet him to hear his grievances. It took an intervention from two senior state Congress leaders to calm him down. Later, Kharge himself tried to reason with him.

Damage Control

Just as Shiv Sena president Uddhav Thackeray was accompanying BJP president Amit Shah, trouble was brewing in the saffron combine back home. Angry over the exclusion of Yuva Sena leader Aaditya Thackeray’s pictures in posters put up by BJP’s sitting MP Poonam Mahajan, sources say that Yuva Sena workers were planning to protest at her election rally on Saturday. A last-minute damage control move by the BJP soothed frayed nerves. Sensing a flare-up, Mahajan, the sources say, ensured that the Thackeray scion’s pictures were erected hours before the rally.

Twist In The Tale

Eyebrows are being raised in the corridors of power over Prakash Ambedkar and Asaduddin Owaisi-led Bahujan Vanchit Aghadi’s move to change their candidate for the Sangli Lok Sabha seat. While the party had previously declared the nomination of Jaysingrao Shendage, it has now decided to offer the ticket to Jaysingrao’s cousin and former NCP legislator Prakash Shendage, who has himself confirmed the plan. With the latter enjoying sizeable clout among the Dhangar community, both the NDA and the Congress-led Alliance are on the tenderhooks.