In a major political update, Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) chief Raj Thackeray on Sunday, wrote to Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis urging him not to field his party’s candidate for the upcoming bypoll of the Andheri East Assembly constituency in reverence to the late MLA Ramesh Latke, whose death has necessitated the election.
While Fadnavis has admitted that the letter was sent to him in good faith, he said that he would have to discuss it with the party leadership before taking a decision.
In the letter addressed to the MNS chief said the MNS will not contest the November 3 by-poll to show its reverence for the deceased legislator.
The letter was shared on Twitter, except of the tweet read: “After the death of MLA Ramesh Latke, his widow has filed for candidature in the Andheri east by-poll. I request you not fight any candidate against her. This will be an honourable tribute to the departed soul. @Dev_Fadnavis.”
After the death of MLA Ramesh Latke, his widow has filed for candidature in the Andheri east by-poll. I request you to not fight any candidate against her. This will be an honourable tribute to the departed soul.@Dev_Fadnavis pic.twitter.com/OE8CDZkQsX— Raj Thackeray (@RajThackeray) October 16, 2022
Rutuja Latke widow of the former MLA Ramesh Latke was an employee with the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation, recently she resigned from the post to fight in the election of Andheri east bypolls from the Uddhav Thackeray Sena party.
MNS leader Avinash Abhyankar said, “With this letter, our president Raj Thackeray only wanted to remind the opposition of the culture and political tradition of Maharashtra.”
Vinayak Raut, MP from the Uddhav-led Shiv Sena said, “We welcome this decision of MNS chief and his letter urging BJP of withdrawing their candidate. But why didn’t he discuss this when he met CM Shinde on Saturday, this is our question.”
Raut further said, “With or without his support, we are confident of winning this election.”
Vilas Potnis, MLC from the Uddhav-led Sena said, “In Maharashtra, this tradition has always been followed,that a deceased family member is given ticket on his seat and elected unopposed.”
BJP spokesperson Keshav Upadhye said,”There is no rule according to which only the deceased family should receive a ticket.But our senior leaders will decide on the letter.”
AAP Maharashtra leader Preeti Sharma Menon said, “In every party giving an opportunity to the deceased family members is their internal decision. But we have seen how politics in Maharashtra is heading, and how MLAs are brought by the BJP.”