Chhagan Bhujbal Withdraws from Nashik Lok Sabha Contest to End Deadlock with Shiv Sena

Bhujbal withdraws from Nashik Lok Sabha race, paving way for Shiv Sena's Godse. NCP-Sena deadlock resolved, crucial for Mahayuti alliance's united front in upcoming polls.

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Chhagan Bhujbal Withdraws from Nashik Lok Sabha Contest to End Deadlock with Shiv Sena

Chhagan Bhujbal Withdraws from Nashik Lok Sabha Contest to End Deadlock with Shiv Sena

Chhagan Bhujbal, a senior leader of the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) in Maharashtra, has announced his withdrawal from the competition for the Nashik Lok Sabha seat. This move comes amid a deadlock between the NCP and its ally, the Shiv Sena, whose sitting MP Hemant Godse also coveted the seat.

During the seat-sharing talks within the Mahayuti alliance, NCP chief and Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar had staked a claim to the Nashik seat, citing his party's greater number of MLAs in the region. Union Minister Amit Shah had reportedly proposed Bhujbal's name for the seat. However, Chief Minister Eknath Shinde, who leads a faction of the Shiv Sena, opposed the NCP's candidature and demanded the seat for the incumbent MP Godse.

The delay in officially announcing a candidate for the Nashik seat had been hurting the chances of the Mahayuti alliance, as the opposition Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) had already declared their nominee and begun campaigning. Bhujbal, an influential OBC leader from Nashik, revealed that while the BJP top brass, including Amit Shah, had insisted that he contest the seat, he ultimately decided to step back to break the three-week-long deadlock between the partners.

Why this matters: Bhujbal's withdrawal paves the way for the Shiv Sena faction led by CM Eknath Shinde to claim the Nashik seat and potentially field the sitting MP Hemant Godse for a third term. The resolution of this discord is crucial for the Mahayuti alliance to present a united front and improve their prospects in the upcoming Lok Sabha elections.

In a statement, Bhujbal made it clear that his decision was not a sign of discontent against the NCP leadership. He emphasized that he would campaign wholeheartedly for the Mahayuti candidate in Nashik and other constituencies. "The Mahayuti alliance should declare the candidate soon, otherwise they may face difficulty winning the seat," Bhujbal said, urging his allies to expedite the decision to avoid further hurting their electoral prospects.

Key Takeaways

  • Chhagan Bhujbal withdraws from Nashik Lok Sabha seat race amid NCP-Shiv Sena dispute.
  • NCP chief Ajit Pawar claimed the seat, but CM Eknath Shinde's Shiv Sena faction opposed it.
  • BJP's Amit Shah had proposed Bhujbal's candidature, but he stepped back to end the deadlock.
  • Bhujbal's withdrawal paves way for Shiv Sena's Hemant Godse to contest the seat again.
  • Bhujbal urges allies to quickly declare the candidate to improve Mahayuti's electoral prospects.