Congress miffed as Shiv Sena (UBT) covets Mumbai North LS seat

Mumbai, April 12 (IANS) In another twist, the Shiv Sena (UBT) is keen to contest the Mumbai North Lok Sabha constituency which has been allotted to Maha Vikas Aghadi ally Congress, party leaders said here on Friday.

SS (UBT) MP Sanjay Raut said that “if given, we are ready to fight Mumbai North” and expressed confidence that its candidate would win.

Simultaneously, the prime contender, SS (UBT)’s local heavyweight Vinod Ghosalkar also aired his desire to contest Mumbai North and defeat the main rival, Bharatiya Janata Party’s Union Minister Piyush Goyal.

“It is not a question of who is my opponent… the ground situation is that I have a strong base and the support of people in this constituency. People are also keen to see a SS (UBT) candidate in the fray as they have been shocked by my son’s killing in February,” Ghosalkar said.

The Raut-Ghosalkar claims are likely to create fresh frictions between SS (UBT)-Congress which are openly at loggerheads over the Sangli Lok Sabha seat.

Congress leaders have slammed the state leadership and negotiators for not doing tough talk which saw the Sangli constituency slipping out of its hands and the SS (UBT) announced its candidate Chandrahar Patil long before the seat-sharing negotiations were completed last week.

So far, the Congress has not fielded any candidate for Mumbai North and party leaders have declined to comment on the latest statements of Raut-Ghosalkar coveting the seat, which is a BJP bastion.

It may be recalled that a former municipal corporator Abhishek V. Ghosalkar was shot dead on the evening of February 8, by a local goon during a Facebook live interaction that rattled the Mumbaikars.

As the crime evoked condemnation from both the ruling MahaYuti leaders and Opposition MVA, last month, Abhishek’s wife Tejasvee Ghosalkar claimed that she was also a potential target of that attack but escaped as she was delayed in reaching the venue that evening.

The SS (UBT) is optimistic that it can benefit from a sympathy wave for the Ghosalkar family if any member decides to stand for the LS elections.

–IANS

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