Not Done, Says Devendra Fadnavis, In Clash With Shiv Sena Over Palghar Bypoll Ticket

The Shiv Sena has given ticket to the son of late BJP lawmaker Chintaman Vanaga who won the Palghar Lok Sabha seat in 2014

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The Palghar Lok Sabha seat should remain with the BJP, said Devendra Fadnavis


Mumbai:  Bypolls to Palghar Lok Sabha seat has added further tension to the already strained ties between the Shiv Sena and BJP --- alliance partners in the Maharashtra government. The by-election will be held on May 28 following the death of BJP lawmaker Chintaman Vanaga earlier this year.

After the Shiv Sena gave a ticket to Mr Vanaga's son, the BJP has fielded former Congress minister Rajendra Gavit who joined the party on Tuesday in the presence of Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis.

Mr Vanaga's son Shrinivas joined the Shiv Sena, saying the BJP did not establish any contact with him. The BJP has refuted the claim, alleging that the family was misled.

"Shiv Sena should not have done this. I had told them clearly that we would give Vanaga's family member a ticket. They had agreed to it. But later they got Vanaga's family to join the Sena. This is not done. Vanaga worked for the BJP and helped the party grow and this seat should remain with the BJP, said Mr Fadnavis.

When asked if the BJP was unable to field someone from its own flock, the chief minister said Mr Gavit "has worked in the area for the welfare of the people".

The Shiv Sena has hit back, saying it won't be pressured by anyone and that it was party chief Uddhav Thackeray's decision to contest the bypoll "on our own strength". It also rejected the BJP's claim to the seat.

"If that is so, why did they have to hire a candidate from the Congress," asked Shiv Sena Spokesperson Sanjay Raut.

The allies have often attacked each other, the last flashpoint being the Shiv Sena's staunch opposition to an upcoming oil refinery in Ratnagiri.

The Congress is also contesting the seat and so is the CPM that has considerable support in the tribal-dominated area.


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