The Shiv Sena on Monday laid claim to the Bhosari Assembly seat, currently held by ally BJP, saying the party has two strong candidates from the seat. Independent candidate Mahesh Landge, who later became BJP’s associate MLA, was elected from the seat in the 2014 elections.
On Monday, former Sena MP Shivajirao Adhalrao-Patil said the party’s strength had gone up in the constituency, and therefore, they were laying claim to the seat.
“We have two strong probables from Bhosari seat. Tomorrow (Tuesday), they will be interviewed by the party chief in Mumbai,” he said. Adhalrao-Patil said they have conveyed the demand for contesting on Bhosari seat to the party chief Uddhav Thackeray.
Adhalrao-Patil, who had sought Landge’s support while campaigning for the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, and, in turn, promised to support him during the Assembly elections, said: “I have high regard for Mahesh Landge. However, if he intends to contest the elections, he should contest on a Shiv Sena ticket. I am inviting him to join the Sena.”
Mahesh Landge’s brother Kartik, meanwhile, said Sena’s claim to the seat had come as a setback. “I don’t know why they are saying so… They had promised to support my brother during assembly poll,” he said.
Adhalrao-Patil said since the BJP was currently in the process of interviewing aspirants for all the Assembly seats that fall in Shirur Lok Sabha constituency, the Sena, too, has do likewise. “The BJP has interviewed aspirants for Junnar and Khed seats too. Both seats are held by Sena candidates. Therefore, we too will now conduct interviews for all seats,” he said. Adhalrao-Patil said that Thackeray will conduct interviews of aspirants for all the 21 seats in Pune district on Tuesday. “We are keeping ourselves ready…,” he said, while refusing to elaborate.
Meanwhile, Sena leaders here claimed that the party was “peeved” with the BJP, because it was claiming credit for all the development work done in Pimpri-Chinchwad. “They have put up boards all over Pimpri-Chinchwad laying claim for the work done by the BJP. There is no mention of the Shiv Sena,” a Sena leader said. The leader added that they cannot remain spectators while politics was being played by their allies.
Chinchwad Assembly seat, currently held by BJP MLA Laxman Jagtap, is also likely to see some tussle between the saffron allies. Maval MP Shirang Barne, in whose constituency Chinchwad Assembly seat falls, however, said the decision of the party chief on the seat would be final, and the party workers here would abide by it. Both Barne and Jagtap have been long-time adversaries. Though Jagtap supported Barne during Lok Sabha polls, it was not before he had severely opposed Barne’s candidature.