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Lok Sabha polls 2024 | Maha Yuti dropped dozen MPs, Maha Vikas Aghadi just one

BJP-led NDA has set a target of 400-plus seats, the Maha Yuti comprising the saffron national party and its two key allies - Eknath Shinde-led Shiv Sena and Ajit Pawar-led NCP - does not want to take any chances vis-a-vis the goal of PMNarendra Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah.
Last Updated : 07 May 2024, 04:19 IST
Last Updated : 07 May 2024, 04:19 IST

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Mumbai: Halfway into the 2024 Lok Sabha five-phase polls in Maharashtra, the battlelines are fully drawn but what becomes clear is that the BJP-led Maha Yuti (NDA) dropped a dozen of their sitting MPs.

The Congress-spearheaded Maha Vikas Aghadi (I.N.D.I.A.) replaced one sitting MP for health reasons while fielded one in place of an MP who passed away.

As the BJP-led NDA has set a target of 400-plus seats, the Maha Yuti comprising the saffron national party and its two key allies - Eknath Shinde-led Shiv Sena and Ajit Pawar-led NCP - does not want to take any chances vis-a-vis the goal of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah.

In 2014, the country witnessed a 'Modi-wave' and the then Gujarat Chief Minister became the Prime Minister - at that point of time, the saffron alliance comprising BJP and undivided Shiv Sena won 23 and 18 seats, respectively, while independent/others 1.

In 2019, the same situation prevailed, with the BJP and Shiv Sena winning 23 and 18 seats respectively, however, Congress was reduced to 1 seat while NCP remained at 4 and independent/others 2.

In June-July, 2022, the Uddhav Thackeray-headed MVA was toppled by Shiv Sena’s Eknath Shinde who became the chief minister with BJP’s Devendra Fadnavis becoming the deputy chief minister.

In June-July, 2023, the Sharad Pawar-led NCP was split and his nephew Ajit Pawar became the deputy chief minister for the record fifth time after resigning as Leader of the Opposition and joining the NDA.

While Shinde and Ajit Pawar managed to successfully claim the real parties - Shiv Sena and NCP, respectively, Thackeray and Pawar are now chiefs of Shiv Sena (UBT) and NCP (SP), respectively.

From the ruling side, the BJP dropped seven MPs and Shiv Sena five.

Those dropped by BJP are - Gopal Shetty (Mumbai North), Manoj Kotak (Mumbai North-East), Sanjay Dhotre (Akola), Jai Siddheshwar Swami (Solapur), Unmesh Patil (Jalgaon), Dr Pritam Munde (Beed) and Poonam Mahajan (Mumbai North Central).

Dhotre, a four-term MP, who is hospitalised because of health issues was replaced by his son Anup Dhotre.

Dr Pritam Munde, two-time MP was replaced by his sister Pankaja Munde. The Mumbai sisters are daughters of late BJP stalwart Gopinath Munde, who was one of those responsible for the growth of the party in Maharashtra.

The cousin of Mundes, two-time MP Poonam Mahajan, who is daughter of late BJP leader Pramod Mahajan, was dropped.

Shetty was replaced by union commerce minister Piyush Goyal, who is considered close to Modi.

The five Shiv Sena MPs dropped are - Gajanan Kirtikar (Mumbai North West), Rajendra Gavit (Palghar), Krupal Tamhane (Ramtek), Bhavana Gawali (Yavatmal-Washim) and Hemant Patil (Hingoli).

Kirtikar opted out as his son Amol Kirtikar was fielded by Shiv Sena (UBT). Gawali, a five-time MP of undivided Shiv Sena, who won the Washim seat in 1999 and 2004 and after delimitation the Yavatmal-Washim seat in 2009, 2014 and 2019, was replaced by Rajashree Pati, the wife of Hemant Patil. The four Shiv Sena MPs excluding Kirtikar had to be dropped at the insistence of BJP because of anti-incumbency.

The NCP (SP) dropped bureaucrat-turned politician and Satara MP Shrinivas Patil, a personal friend of Sharad Pawar, because he opted out citing health issues. He was replaced by firebrand leader Shashikant Shinde.

On the other hand, Congress, which had a single MP, did not drop anyone. From Chandrapur, it fielded Pratibha Dhanorkar, the MLA from Warora. Dhanorkar with the responsibility of defending the lone Congress seat of the state that her late husband Balu Dhanorkar represented.

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Published 07 May 2024, 04:19 IST

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