Shiv Sena holds South Central Mumbai Lok Sabha constituency in its earlier pact with Bharatiya Janata Party.
Mumbai: Union minister for social justice Ramdas Athawale on Tuesday declared that he will contest from the South Central Mumbai Lok Sabha constituency in the next general elections.
Mr Athawale is an alliance partner of the Bharatiya Janata Party-led governments at the Centre and in Maharashtra. The constituency he wishes to contest is with the Shiv Sena. Talks over an alliance between Shiv Sena and BJP are almost at a dead end. At such a time, a BJP alliance partner’s announcement about his candidature from the Shiv Sena’s constituency indicates BJP’s preparations to go solo if required, sources said.
Talking to his workers on Tuesday Mr Athawale said, “Mumbai South Central is a key constituency. Workers have been demanding to contest Lok Sabha seat. All the workers and supporters should start campaigning for this seat.”
Mr Athawale also informed that his party would organise ‘show of strength’ rally in Thane on October 6, which will be attended by workers from across the state.
Bharatiya Janata Party has been trying to pursue Shiv Sena for an alliance in 2019 elections, however, Sena has been reluctant. Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray has even declared that his party would go solo in all elections henceforth. Still, in the month of June BJP national president Amit Shah reached out to him.
However, during the no confidence motion in Lok Sabha on July 20, Shiv Sena remained absent despite being part of the Central government. This has irked Bharatiya Janata Party leadership and now it has decided to stop pursuing Sena for an alliance. Mr Shah during his recent visit to Mumbai has clearly asked state BJP leadership to start preparation of contesting all seats.
Shiv Sena holds South Central Mumbai Lok Sabha constituency in its earlier pact with Bharatiya Janata Party. Sena’s young leader Rahul Shevale is representing this seat from 2014, after defeating Congress stalwart Eknath Gaikwad.