The BJP is considering Seema Savale, the former chairman of the Pimpri-Chinchwad Municipal Corporation Standing Committee, as a possible candidate for the Amravati Lok Sabha seat. Savale is the sitting corporator from the PCMC, and is a strong potential contender for the seat if the BJP and Shiv Sena decide to fight the 2019 general elections independently, sources said.
The Amravati Lok Sabha seat is located in the Vidarbha region of the state and has traditionally been a Shiv Sena stronghold. Sena leader Anandrao Adsul is representing the seat, which is reserved for the Scheduled Caste (SC) community. Adsul had defeated Navneet Kaur Rana — wife of independent MLA Ravi Rana — who was fielded by the NCP in 2014.
In the last election, Shiv Sena and BJP had an alliance with the Amravati seat being reserved for the Sena.
During the assembly elections, which the BJP and Shiv Sena had fought independently, the BJP had managed to win three assembly seats while the Sena had drawn a blank. Two of the other two assembly constituencies were won by independent MLAs while Yashomati Thakur of the Congress was the only victorious candidate of a political party in the area.
The BJP had also made significant inroads in the local body elections capturing both the Amravati Municipal Corporation as well as the majority of municipal councils. This has given the party the confidence to wrestle the seat from the Shiv Sena in case of a split between the two. However, party sources say because of the BJP’s good performance in the area, they are considering claiming this seat even if the alliance with the Shiv Sena continues.
Navneet Kaur Rana, who had fought the last election on an NCP ticket, was earlier being considered as a possible BJP candidate but allegedly she has serious differences with the local BJP unit, sources said.
Kaur’s caste validity certificate is also being challenged in court by Adsul.
While Kaur’s political career has been made in the once-NCP stronghold of PCMC, Savale hails from Amravati. Once part of the Shiv Sena, Savale had joined BJP before 2017 and is considered to be close to Chinchwad MLA Laxman Jagtap. During her stint with the Shiv Sena, Savale had raised many corruption charges against the NCP.