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Pune Assembly bypolls: Amid Maharashtra Chief Minister’s appeal for unopposed contest, BJP and Cong candidates file nominations

PUNE: Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Hemant Rasne and Congress candidate Ravindra Dhangekar filed their nomination papers on Monday for the upcoming byelection to Kasba Peth Assembly seat in Maharashtra’s Pune district.

Besides, Ashwini Jagtap, the wife of late BJP MLA Laxman Jagtap, filed her nomination for the bypoll to the Chinchwad Assembly seat which represents the neighbouring Pimpri Chinchwad township.

The byelections to Kasba Peth and Chinchwad constituencies, scheduled for February 26, have been necessitated due to the death of MLAs Mukta Tilak and Laxman Jagtap, respectively. Both of them belonged to the BJP.

The results of the byelections will be declared on March 2.

The MVA has not yet announced whether it will contest the Chinchwad seat, and yes, who will be the candidate? The nomination of Rasne has raised eyebrows with the husband of the late Tilak on Monday saying the family members would have completed her work as MLA if given a ticket.

State Congress president Nana Patole took a dig at BJP, saying it has forgotten freedom fighter Bal Gangadhar Tilak and the family of Mukta Tilak. She was the daughter-in-law (niece-in-law) of Jayantrao Tilak, who was Bal Gangadhar Tilak’s grandson. Notably, Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde on Sunday said he had requested Nationalist Congress Party president Sharad Pawar and Congress leaders to honour the political tradition in the state to ensure unopposed bypolls to the seats that fall vacant due to the death of sitting lawmakers.

The Balasahebanchi Shiv Sena headed by CM Shinde shares power with BJP in Maharashtra.

On Monday, Rasne filed his nomination in the presence of state BJP chief Chandrashekhar Bawankule and Pune guardian minister Chandrakant Patil.

Congress candidate Dhangekar filed his nominations in the presence of Patole, senior leader Ashok Chavan, as well as leaders from the NCP and the Uddhav Thackeray-led Shiv Sena camp. Speculations were rife that the late Tilak’s husband Shailesh Tilak might be the BJP’s pick for the Kasba Peth seat.

”The BJP has forgotten the family of Mukta Tilak and also Bal Gangadhar Tilak. The BJP is known for forgetting the people after the party’s need is over,” Patole alleged.

Responding to a query on CM Shinde’s appeal to MVA leaders for unopposed bypolls, Chandrakant Patil said it was the Opposition which wanted a contest for the Kasba Peth seat. ”Nana Patole is now saying the Congress could have thought of an unopposed election had the BJP given a ticket to a member of Mukta Tilak’s family. Had we given a ticket to Tilak’s family would the Congress have ensured that the contest is unopposed?” Patil asked. Meanwhile, Shailesh Tilak, the husband of the late MLA, said, ”Had the BJP given a ticket into the family, we would have got the opportunity to take my wife’s work forward”.

He, however, added that the party’s decision is accepted by the Tilak family.

Source: Press Trust of India

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