Shiv Sena drops sitting MP from Hingoli following adverse survey, BJP's reservation

Mumbai, April 3 (IANS) The Shiv Sena led by Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde on Wednesday cancelled the nomination of sitting MP Hemant Patil from the Hingoli Lok Sabha constituency in Marathwada.

The Shiv Sena has now fielded Baburao Kadam Kohaliakar from Hingoli after the party received adverse survey findings on the prospects of Patil’s re-election. The BJP had also objected to Patil’s renomination considering his 'poor' poll prospects.

The Shiv Sena had recently announced eight candidates for the upcoming Lok Sabha elections, including Patil.

The move is seen as crucial as the last date for filing nomination is April 4, while polling will take place in Hingoli in Phase 2 on April 26.

However, in a bid to pacify a fuming Patil, the Shiv Sena has fielded his wife Rajashri from the Yavatmal-Washim seat, instead of renominating sitting MP Bhavana Gawli, who represented the seat since 2009, following opposition from the BJP.

Earlier, the Eknath Shinde faction had dropped sitting MP Krupal Tumane from Ramtek, where the party has given ticket to Raju Parwe, who recently quit the Congress and joined the Shiv Sena.

So far, the Shiv Sena has dropped three sitting MPs after the BJP raised serious doubts over their winning prospects.

Kohaliakar, who replaced Patil, is a former Nanded district chief of the Shiv Sena who joined the Shinde faction after the split in the party in June 2022.

Meanwhile, fearing the possibility of the cancellation of his nomination, Patil’s supporters in around 200 cars drove to Mumbai and appealed to the party leadership to retain the latter’s candidature.

Incidentally, Patil also met Chief Minister Shinde and pleaded not to drop him as the party nominee.

Shiv Sena insiders said that the BJP, which is strongly pursuing 'Mission 45-plus' in the state, had suggested the Chief Minister to replace Patil, Bhavana Gawli. and Krupal Tumane with new faces who can win the elections.

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