Maharashtra Assembly Elections 2019: Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) released its fourth list of seven candidates for the upcoming Maharashtra assembly polls. BJP has announced tickets to Rohini Khadse from Muktainagar, Sunil Rane from Borivali, Rahul Narvekar from Colaba, Parag Shah from Ghatkopar East, Pradeep Padole from Tumsar, Charan Singh Thakur from Katol and Rahul Dhikale from Nashik East seats. While the list features only seven names, it is quite significant as it confirms four BJP stalwarts and sitting MLAs in the state- Eknath Khadse, Prakash Mehta, Raj Purohit and Vinod Tawade - will not get the ticket this time.
Eknath Khadse, who was one of the contenders for the chief minister's post in 2014, has been replaced by his daughter Rohini Khadse from the Muktainagar seat in Jalgaon district.
Maharashtra Education Minister Vinod Tawde's name is also missing from the list. BJP has fielded Sunil Rane from Tawde's Borivali seat. There are reports that Tawde may be may be sent to Legislative Council.
Former minister Prakash Mehta is also a sitting MLA who has not been given the ticket. He has been replaced by Parag Shah from Ghatkopar East. Interestingly, Shah was brought in the party by Mehta. Parag Shah is known as one of the richest councilors in the state.
Rahul Navrekar, who joined BJP from NCP, has been given the ticket ahead of sitting MLA Raj Purohit in Colaba.
Eknath Khadse had been sidelined in the party following allegations of corruption and that he misused his office in a land deal. He had to resign as revenue minister in 2016 and has not been taken back into the Cabinet by Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis. Party sources said it was made clear to him that he would not be given ticket this time. However, Khadse has already filed his nomination papers from the seat this week as an Independent. It will be intereting to see if he will stay in the contest after the announcement of his daughter's name.
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With this, the BJP has announced candidates for 150 seats. With less than 24 hours to go for the filing of nominations to end, 95 of these candidates had filed their papers till Thursday evening. BJP will contest 162 seats and the Shiv Sena 126, according to the seat-sharing formula for the October 21 assembly elections.