Mumbai: The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Friday released its last list of candidates with seven names for the state Assembly election, which resulted in disappointment, protests and even fistfights.
A bodyguard of Ghatkopar East candidate Parag Shah — who was favoured over sitting MLA and former state housing minister Prakash Mehta — was roughed up and his car was damaged. Mr Mehta is facing allegations of irregularities in a redevelopment project.
Party workers also gheraoed the BJP headquarters in Borivali, which is represented by MP Gopal Shetty, after state education minister Vinod Tawde was denied a ticket while Muktainagar, the constituency of former revenue minister Eknath Khadse — who had been sidelined in the party following allegations of corruption and that he misused his office in a land deal — also witnessed protests as the leader, who had been representing the seat since 1991, didn’t figure on the list. The BJP, however, has given the ticket to his daughter Rohini.
Other prominent leaders such as Raj Purohit, Vishnu Savara, Dilip Kamble and Chandrashekhar Bawankule have also been denied tickets.
While political observers have said that Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis has sidelined those who have made him uncomfortable, the BJP leadership claimed that the situation was under control and denied the existence of any rifts within the party.
Addressing the issue Mr Fadnavis said, “The roles (of party leaders) keep changing. Some party workers go to the Assembly and some work from outside the Assembly.”