Rajendra Gavit, BJP’s sitting MP from Palghar Lok Sabha, who is likely to join ally Shiv Sena in the next few days, might be Sena’s official candidate for the Lok Sabha seat. The Palghar seat, which was allotted to the Sena as a part of the party’s pre-poll alliance with the BJP, had reportedly created discontent among the BJP workers.
Currently, the seat is held by the BJP and is represented by Gavit, who had joined the BJP in May last year just ahead of the bypoll following the death of BJP’s then MP from the seat Chintaman Wanga. In the bypoll, Sena had fielded Chintaman’s son Sriniwas Wanga against Gavit, but lost the election.
“Since there is only one opposition candidate, it will be a tough fight and we needed a strong candidate. So, we have offered Gavit to join the Sena and to contest on Palghar Lok Sabha seat,” a Sena leader said. Hitendra Thakur-led Bahujan Vikas Aghadi has fielded former MP Baliram Jadhav from the seat. Jadhav has Congress-NCP and CPI(M) backing.
According to the Sena, if Gavit is fielded from Palghar seat, then Sriniwas Wanga will likely be given a ticket in the Assembly polls. “…Or he can be sent to the legislative council,” the leader said.
Another Sena leader said that Gavit’s candidature would help to pacify the BJP activists, who were reportedly angry after the seat went to the Sena as a part of the seat-sharing arrangement. “It will be win-win situation for both,” the leader said. Meanwhile, the Sena announced that Narendra Patil would contest on Satara Lok Sabha seat on the party’s ticket.