The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Thursday changed its Lok Sabha candidate for Jalgaon in North Maharashtra, with its Chalisgaon MLA Unmesh Patil filing nomination papers for the election scheduled for April 23.
Earlier, Member of the Legislative Council and BJP leader Smita Wagh had filed nomination as the party's candidate on March 28.
Patil told PTI that Wagh accompanied him when he filed his papers, but did not comment on why the candidate was changed. "I filed my nomination today following the party’s directive," he added.
"She (Wagh) too is a dedicated party worker. There is no question of her having ill feelings over being asked to withdraw," he said.
Jalgaon, considered a BJP bastion, is the home turf of Maharashtra water resources minister Girish Mahajan.
A BJP source said the decision to replace Wagh was taken after the party realised that Patil has better chances of winning against NCP candidate Gulabrao Patil. “Some Shiv Sena workers were also unhappy with Wagh’s candidature,” he said.