Updated: October 4, 2019 6:06:29 am
A former Congress leader who joined the BJP in 2017 will now take on a former party colleague in Malad West constituency during the Assembly polls. Ramesh Singh Thakur, former MLA from Kandivali East constituency, on Thursday received a BJP ticket to contest the election from Malad West.
Malad West has been a Congress bastion for over 20 years, and its two-term MLA Aslam Shaikh is now contesting the state election for the third time. Before 2009, Kandivali and Malad together formed the Kandivali constituency, and Congress member P U Mehta was its elected representative.
One of the contenders for the seat had been state minister Ashish Shelar’s brother Vinod Shelar, presently a corporator from Malad. Thakur had lost the 2014 Assembly elections as a Congress candidate from Kandivali East constituency to BJP’s Atul Bhatkhalkar. He had shown interest in contending from the neighbouring Magathane constituency.
Despite calls and messages, Thakur remained unavailable for comment.
Commenting on Thakur’s candidature, Aslam Shaikh said it would be a one-sided battle. “Thakur is not from the constituency. He doesn’t know where the constituency starts, where it ends and what the problems are. He is more into the construction business and I don’t think he will be able to do justice to the constituency here,” said Shaikh.
Shaikh further said that Thakur had not been able to do justice to the Kandivali East constituency. The incumbent Malad West MLA added that Thakur’s loss almost cost him his poll deposit last time. “I don’t think there will be much contest here (Malad). I have been working for the people for the last 20 years. I know each building, every lane, and people know me here. By the time he (Thakur) comes to know, it will be too late.”
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