BJP in Maharashtra began the process of finalising its second list of candidates for the Lok Sabha elections.
Even though no names were finalised, party sources said senior leader Kirit Somaiya and Yuva Morcha leader Poonam Mahajan were in the running for Mumbai North East, while Gopal Shetty and Hemendra Mehta for Mumbai North parliamentary constituencies in Mumbai.
Leader of Opposition in the Legislative Assembly Eknath Khadse, his counterpart in the council Vinod Tawde, senior leaders Sudhir Mungantiwar, Pandurang Phundkar, Mumbai BJP president Ashish Shelar and Atul Bhatkalkar were prominent among those present at the meeting, which was chaired by state unit chief Devendra Fadnavis.
The 15 seats are Pune, Baramati, Mumbai North, Mumbai North East, Mumbai North Central, Latur, Wardha, Nanded, Ahmednagar, Palghar, Bhiwandi, Solapur, Sangli, Dhule and Nandurbar.
A team of observers comprising Tawde, Khadse and Mungantiwar had toured the 15 constituencies in the last few days, interviewed aspiring candidates, discussed political situation in the constituencies and party strategy.
Tawde told that party leaders will meet again next week to take a final decision on the list of candidates to be forwarded to the central parliamentary board. Raju Shetty’s Swabhimani Shetkari Sanghtana and Mahadev Jamkar’s Rashtriya Samaj Party, both new allies of BJP, are staking claim for the Maadha Lok Sabha seat.
Jamkar had contested the 2009 poll against Sharad Pawar. The party has already finalised its list of candidates for 10 seats, including Gopinath Munde for Beed and Nitin Gadkari for Nagpur.