Maharashtra BJP has released the fourth list for the forthcoming assembly polls and has not issued tickets to top leaders Vinod Tawde, Eknath Khadse and Prakash Mehta. These three leaders have been involved in corruption. However, the party has issued ticket to Khadse’s daughter Rohini Khadse from Muktainagar seat. The decision to field Rohini Khadse indicates that the party has succeeded in placating her father who is one of its senior most leaders in the state but has been sidelined following charges of irregularities when he was a minister in the Devendra Fadnavis government. Thus, BJP has taken calculated risk to win assembly polls scheduled on October 21.
When our correspondent Nikhil Sagare spoke to BJP spokesperson Vishwas Pathak he said, “Party conducts a survey of candidates and the candidate who has the maximum chance of winning is issued ticket. In a democracy any person can contest election. Despite hailing from Gujarat, Narendra Modi has won election from Varanasi and got elected as Prime Minister. A person can contest election from any place but winning is important.”
Sunil Rane has been allotted ticket in place of Vinod Tawde. Rahul Narvekar has replaced Raj Purohit from the Colaba seat. After Tawde’s name was missing from the first two lists he had met BJP State chief Chandrakant Patil but his efforts failed to yield the desired results. Tawde was once seen as a contender for the chief minister’s post. Allegations have been made against Tawde for issuing contract for purchasing fire extinguishing equipment without issuing e-tender. However Tawde claimed that he has not given a single pie to contractors and stalled the order after Finance department raised objections.
BJP Rajya Sabha MP Amar Sable said, “BJP has not issued tickets to senior leaders because new candidates must be given chance for contesting election which helps in the development of the party. Such instances occur in cadre based parties. If Eknath Khadse and Vinod Tawde become star campaigner then BJP will derive benefit out of it.”
Allegations have been leveled against Prakash Mehta for irregularities in the slum rehabilitation scheme. Also allegations have been made against Mehta for transferring extra building rights in South Mumbai’s MP Mills compound under slum rehabilitation authority scheme. Parag Shah has been issued ticket from Ghatkopar (East) in place of Prakash Mehta. Supporters of Prakash Mehta angry over denial of ticket to him vandalised the car of Parag Shah. Mehta’s supporters were angry over denial of ticket to their leader from Ghatkopar (East), from where he won in 2014. They damaged the car’s glass and also other parts of the vehicle.
Khadse has filed nomination as Independent candidate from Muktainagar, Jalgaon. He had to resign as state revenue minister. He was once considered as a serious contender for the chief ministerial post. The final seat sharing formula between BJP and Shiv Sena has also been finalised. BJP is contesting on 150 seats while Shiv Sena is contesting on 124 seats and other allies get 14 seats. The BJP’s fourth list of candidates comes on the last day of nomination filing for the October 21 Maharashtra assembly polls. The BJP has released three lists earlier. Ahead of the release of BJP’s final list of candidates speculation was rife that Eknath Khadse, Vinod Tawde and few other senior leaders of the party might not be fielded in 2019 Maharashtra assembly election.