Twelve sitting MLAs have been denied tickets by the BJP for the Assembly polls in Maharashtra, scheduled to be held on October 21. BJP on Tuesday released the list of 125 candidates.
The party has rewarded many turncoats with tickets, while Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis will contest from his traditional Nagpur South-West constituency. BJP's state unit chief Chandrakant Patil will try his luck from Kothrud in Pune. The seat was earlier represented by Medha Vishram Kulkarni.
Minister Pankaja Munda will be contesting from Parli seat in Beed district. President of BJP's Mumbai unit -- Ashish Shelar -- will contest from Vandre West in Mumbai while another minister Girish Mahajan has been given the ticket from Jamner.
Speaker Haribhau Bagde will seek his re-election from Phulambri Assembly constituency. Surprisingly, senior party leader Eknath Khadse's name was missing in the first list.
The party also announced the candidature of Udayanraje Bhonsle for the Lok Sabha by-election to be held in Satara constituency.
He was elected from Satara on the NCP ticket in 2019 Lok Sabha polls. He later left the party and resigned from the Lok Sabha and joined the BJP. He is a descendant of king Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj.
The party has fielded Atul Bhosale, president of Pandharpur's Vithal-Rukmini Temple Samiti, from Karad South Assembly constituency.
The BJP has reposed faith in turncoats who recently joined the party. Prominent among them who have been provided with the ticket is former senior Congress leader Radhakrishna Vikhe Patil, who will be contesting from Shirdi
Besides Patil and Udayanraje Bhosale, the BJP has fielded Rana Jagjit Sinh Patil from Tuljapur, Shivendra Bhosale from Satara, Jay Kumar Gore from Man, Vaibhav Pichad from Akole and Harshwardhan Patil from Wadala.
The party has given tickets to 12 women candidates including Pune Mayor Mukta Tilak. She belongs to the family of freedom fighter Bal Gangadhar Tilak and would contest from Kasba Peth. The seat was earlier represented by Girish Bapat, who resigned after his election to the Lok Sabha in 2109.
Prominent women candidates fielded by the party are Shweta Mahale from Chikhli, Devy Farande from Nashik Central, Seema Hire from Nashik West and Manda Mahatre from Belapur.
The BJP and its ally Shiv Sena are contesting the elections in an alliance. In 2014, both the Sena and the BJP contested the elections separately and the BJP emerged as the single largest party with 122 seats followed by the Sena. Shiv Sena later joined the government.
There are 288 seats in the Maharashtra Assembly.
The BJP in Maharashtra is banking on development works done by the state and the Central government besides the clean image of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chief Minister Fadnavis to win the poll.
( With inputs from ANI )