Maharashtra News: Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde-led Shiv Sena faction will have its first test of popularity in the November 3 by-election to the Andheri (East) assembly constituency in Mumbai, represented by the late Shiv Sena MLA. Ramesh Latke did it.
People’s eyes are on this by-election as both the Shiv Sena factions are vying for the Shiv Sena’s “bow and arrow” symbol. The Election Commission is currently hearing petitions to determine the ‘true’ Shiv Sena and the election symbol. The Election Commission announced the schedule of the by-elections on Monday, voting will be held on November 6.
conflict between factions
Both the factions are competing to claim the legacy of Shiv Sena founder Bal Thackeray. Two separate Dussehra rallies organized by Uddhav and Shinde are to be held in Mumbai. A lot of preparations and security arrangements have been made ahead of the rallies, which are ready to deal with the situation of clashes between the factions.
The Andheri (East) seat fell vacant in May this year after the death of two-time winner Latte. The ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Shinde faction have fielded former Mumbai civic body councilor Murji Patel in the bypolls. The Uddhav Thackeray-led Shiv Sena may field the late Latte’s wife Rutuja Latte. Talking to reporters in Pune, NCP chief Sharad Pawar said on Monday that his party will field the Uddhav Thackeray-led Shiv Sena in the bypolls.
Thackeray’s Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government has fallen
Mumbai BJP chief Ashish Shelar on Sunday inaugurated the party’s central office for the bypolls in suburban Andheri. He tweeted that Murji Patel has a lot of support from the local people. Andheri East Assembly constituency is one of the 26 constituencies located in the Mumbai Suburban district. The Shinde faction toppled Thackeray’s Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government in June and the two factions have had a tense relationship, with activists clashing on the streets at times.
Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis had announced in September that the BJP and Eknath Shinde’s Shiv Sena would run as an alliance partner in the BMC elections. “BJP and Eknath Shinde’s Shiv Sena will fight the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation elections together,” Fadnavis said during a press conference in Mumbai.
However, there is speculation about the seat-sharing formula between the BJP and the Shinde-led faction, which is yet to be finalised. According to reports, the two sides will discuss seat-sharing on the basis of ground reality and ward-by-ward strength of each party.
In the most recent BMC elections held in February 2017, the Shiv Sena won 84 seats, while the BJP won 82 seats. The Congress party won 22 seats, while the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) won only nine.