Ahead of the Palghar by-elections on May 28, political parties in Maharashtra are leaving no stone unturned in cementing their chances in the polls. This goes completely true for bitter rivals BJP and Shiv Sena who have announced rallies of top leaders like Yogi Adityanath and Uddhav Thackeray on May 23 at various places in the district neighbouring Thane. The Uttar Pradesh chief minister will campaign for BJP nominee Rajendra Gavit in Vasai, Virar, and Nalasopara assembly segments dominated by north Indian voters tomorrow. Tribal-dominated Palghar constituency, located 110 kms away from Mumbai, consists of six assembly segments.
As per a Shiv Sena release, the party has organised a string of rallies to be addressed by its president Uddhav Thackeray in Talasari, Vikramgadh, and Nalasopara on May 23, 24 and 25. As far as state BJP leadership is concerned, Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis has been spearheading the campaign in urban areas of the constituency while state BJP chief Raosaheb Danve is leading the charge in rural areas.
Yuva Sena chief Aditya Thackeray has already held a number of road shows in rural areas of the constituency. The Vasai-Virar-Nalasopara belt is considered as a stronghold of Hintendra Thakur-led Bahujan Vikas Aghadi (BVA). The Congress and BVA have fielded former MPs Damodar Shingda and Baliram Jadhav, respectively. BVA has three MLAs in the total six assembly segments in the Palghar constituency.
The BJP and Sena, a constituent of the NDA government, are locked in a straight contest in the bypoll which was necessitated following the death of sitting BJP MP Chintaman Wanga in January this year.
In an embarrassment to the BJP, the Shiv Sena allotted ticket to Wanga’s son Srinivas for the byelection. Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis has accused the Shiv Sena of betraying the BJP by fielding the son of late MP Chintaman Wanga for the Palghar Lok Sabha seat bypoll. He claimed the Sena knew that the BJP was already planning to nominate someone from Chintaman Wanga’s family for the by-election.
Lauding Wanga’s association with the BJP, Fadnavis said the late leader represented the party’s ideology. Fadnavis, at an earlier rally in the district, said he had told Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray that the BJP was planning to give a ticket to a member of Chintaman Wanga’s family for the by-election.