The Shiv Sena on Friday announced its first list of 15 candidates for the Lok Sabha elections. The Sena has also given one each seat to its alliance partners Swabhimani Shetkari Sanghatana (SSS) and the Ramdas Athawale-led Republican Party of India (RPI).
In Mumbai, the Shiv Sena has fielded Arvind Sawant from the Mumbai South constituency, ending months of speculation over who would take on two-time Congress MP and Union minister of state Milind Deora. While there were reports earlier that local BJP legislator Mangal Prabhat Lodha, or perhaps one of his sons, could be in the race to contest against Deora, thereby staking a claim to the votes of the large Marwari-Gujarati business community who vote in this constituency that supported Deora in 2009, the Sena has not only retained its hold on the South Mumbai seat but has also fielded a relatively weak opponent. Sawant is a labour leader and former legislator.
Among others in the fray in the high profile constituency is Meera Sanyal of the Aam Aadmi Party who lost her deposit when she contested as an independent in 2009. While the Maharashtra Navnirman Sena has not announced its list of candidates, Mazgaon legislator Bala Nandgaonkar is almost certain to contest once again -- he had surprised many in 2009 by finishing second, leaving the then Sena candidate Mohan Rawle, a sitting MP from a neighbouring pre-delimitation constituency to finish sorry third. There is a large Maharashtrian population in the constituency, whose vote is expected to be split once again between the Sena and the MNS.
For the Mumbai North West constituency, the Sena has fielded Gajanan Kirtikar against Sitting Congress MP Gurudas Kamat and AAP candidate Mayank Gandhi.
Sidelining senior leader and former chief minster Manohar Joshi, the Sena has fielded Rahul Shewale, a sitting corporator and chairman of the all-important Standing Committee in the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation, from the Mumbai South Central constituency. At present, the Mumbai South Central constituency is represented by Congress MP Eknath Gaikwad.
Apart from Mumbai, the candidates include sitting MPs Shivajirao Adhalrao Patil (Shirur, Pune), Chandrakant Khaire (Aurangabad), Subhash Wankhde (Hingoli), Bhavana Gawali (Yavatmal-Washim), Anandrao Adsul (Amravati) and Prataprao Jadhav (Buldhana).
Dr Shrikant Shinde has been fielded against the sitting Shiv Sena MP turned rebel and NCP candidate Anand Paranjape. Other candidates include Rajan Vichare (Thane), Anant Gite (Raigad), Vinayak Raut (Ratnagiri-Sindhudurga), Sanjay Jadhav (Parbhani) and Krupal Tumane (Ramtek).
While the sitting Swabhimani Shetkari Sanghatana MP Raju Shetty will contest from Hatkangale, RPI is yet to decide on its candidate for Satara.
Updated Date: Feb 28, 2014 15:45 PM