HomeLatest NewsMNS unilaterally stakes claim to Konkan MLC seat, rankles Devendra Fadnavis says...

MNS unilaterally stakes claim to Konkan MLC seat, rankles Devendra Fadnavis says he ‘will not leave claim on the seat for MNS’

X : @vivekbhavsar

Mumbai: Barely 11 days after Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) President Raj Thackeray shared dais with Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the historic Shivaji Park, Dadar, the MNS chief apparently seems to have parted ways with the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) over the now contentious biennial elections to the Konkan Division Graduates Constituency in the Maharashtra Legislative Council. 

In a swift counter to the unexpected move from the MNS, Deputy Chief Minister and BJPs helmsman in Maharashtra, Devendra Fadnavis was quick to send a missive to the MNS. Putting his foot down, Fadnavis mincing no words bluntly told that that he “will not leave the claim on the seat for the MNS”. 

The terse note had its desired effect with senior MNS leader Bala Nandgaonkar rushing to meet Fadnavis later in the day.

Striking a discordant note the MNS President without consulting the state BJP leadership has gone ahead and declared the candidature of his blue-eyed boy Abhijit Panse for the seat. The choice of Abhijit Panse, a prominent figure within MNS, adds to the intrigue, given the historical significance of the Konkan seat for the BJP.

It must be borne in mind that the Konkan Division Graduates constituency has been a traditional bastion of the BJP for long. The seat is currently held by its sitting MLC Niranjan Davkhare. In such circumstances, the MNS unilaterally staking claim to its traditional seat is bound to unnerve the BJP 

DCM Devendra Fadnavis’s response, delivered via text message, underlines the BJP’s firm stance on retaining control over this crucial seat. It’s apparent that the BJP is not willing to concede ground to the MNS, indicating a potential power struggle between the two parties in Maharashtra.  This development could have broader implications for the political landscape of Maharashtra, particularly regarding the dynamics between the BJP and its allies or its former allies.

Devendra Fadnavis’s statement reiterating the BJP’s stance that they will not yield their claim on the Konkan MLC seat to the MNS underscores the intense competition between the two parties for political dominance in Maharashtra. This firm declaration signifies the BJP’s determination to retain control over the constituency, which has been a stronghold for the party.

The refusal to cede ground to the MNS indicates the BJP’s strategic calculations and the importance it places on maintaining its electoral presence in key regions like Konkan. This stance aligns with the party’s broader agenda of expanding its political footprint and consolidating power in the state.

As the electoral contest unfolds, the BJP’s resolve to hold onto the Konkan MLC seat will likely shape its campaign strategies and alliances. It also sets the stage for a fierce battle between the BJP and the MNS, highlighting the significance of this seat in determining the balance of power in Maharashtra’s political landscape. 

The decision by the Election Commission of India to postpone the biennial election for the State Legislative Council seats from June 10 to June 26, following a memorandum submitted by Kapil Patil of the Samajwadi Ganrajya Party, reflects the commission’s responsiveness to concerns raised by stakeholders. This delay allows for necessary adjustments and ensures a fair and smooth electoral process.

The upcoming election holds significance as it will determine the successors to the sitting MLC Niranjan Davkhare of the BJP from the Konkan constituency, Vilas Potnis of the Shiv Sena from the Mumbai Graduate Constituency, and Kishor Darade from the Nashik Teachers Constituency, who is also associated with the UBT Shiv Sena. Their term of membership expires on July 7 creating an opportunity for new leadership to emerge and shape the future direction of legislative affairs in the state.

As the election date approaches, political parties and candidates are likely to intensify their campaigns, seeking support from constituents and outlining their visions for governance and development. The outcomes of these elections will not only impact the composition of the State Legislative Council but also influence the broader political landscape of Maharashtra.

Niranjan Davkhare’s successful re-election from the Konkan graduate constituency, this time as a BJP candidate after previously winning from the Nationalist Congress Party, solidifies the BJP’s stronghold in that region. However, internal dissent within the BJP regarding Davkhare’s candidacy for a third term indicates some degree of discontent or disagreement within the party ranks.

Despite this internal opposition, the BJP’s reluctance to relinquish its claim on the Konkan seat suggests a strategic decision to maintain its dominance in the region. This stance also reflects the party’s determination to fend off challenges from other political players, including the Shiv Sena and the MNS, both of which have expressed interest in contesting from the same constituency.

The BJP’s firm stance underscores the significance of the Konkan graduate constituency and its electoral value for the party. It remains to be seen how the BJP manages internal dissent while simultaneously warding off external competition, and how these dynamic shapes the party’s strategy in the upcoming elections and beyond. 

The BJP is intent on expanding and consolidating its electoral base in a region where it hitherto lacked electoral presence. As the political grapevine goes, any electoral mood swing in the Konkan region has its collateral effect on the electorate in Mumbai-Thane belt as the electorate here has its native roots in the Konkan region.

The political landscape in Maharashtra continues to evolve with Chief Minister Eknath Shinde asserting the Shiv Sena’s claim to all four seats in the upcoming elections, leveraging the party’s increased influence in the Konkan region and the departure of three outgoing members from the Upper House affiliated with the Shiv Sena. This move underscores the party’s ambitions and its strategy to consolidate power in the state.

However, the dynamics within the opposition alliance, Mahayuti, seem to be shifting, particularly with the MNS and its leader Raj Thackeray’s recent actions. Despite previous indications of support for Prime Minister Modi, MNS candidate Abhijit Panse’s assertion that the party will contest elections independently signals a departure from the Mahayuti alliance. Panse’s criticism of the outgoing candidate Niranjan Davkhare and the BJP’s handling of the Konkan graduate constituency reflects MNS’s intention to establish its own political identity and agenda.

Raj Thackeray’s purported extension of support to Modi for a third term as Prime Minister, as mentioned by Panse, adds an intriguing dimension to Maharashtra’s political landscape. It suggests a nuanced approach by MNS, balancing its own electoral interests with broader national considerations.

As the election date approaches, these developments will likely shape the strategies of political parties and candidates, as well as influence voter perceptions and outcomes. The contest for the four seats in the Upper House promises to be closely watched, with implications for the balance of power in Maharashtra and beyond.

Abhijit Panse’s focus on education reform and his plans to address issues within the current system, particularly in skill development and employment creation, reflect a commitment to addressing the needs of students and young people in Maharashtra. His background as the former president of Vidyarthi Sena underscores his understanding of student concerns and the challenges they face.

Raj Thackeray’s declaration of support for Panse’s candidacy indicates MNS determination to contest the Konkan graduate seat, despite opposition from the BJP and clarifications from BJP leaders like Chandrashekhar Bawankule. Bawankule’s statement emphasizes that there is no formal alliance between BJP and MNS for any election, including the MLC, and that Raj Thackeray’s support for Modi was limited to the Lok Sabha elections, distancing the BJP from any association with MNS.

Devendra Fadnavis’s assertion that the BJP will not concede the Konkan graduate constituency to MNS further underscores the party’s resolve to retain control over the seat. These statements highlight the intensifying competition between political parties in Maharashtra, particularly in key constituencies like Konkan, and the determination of each party to assert its influence.

As the election approaches, the clash between BJP and MNS for the Konkan graduate seat is likely to escalate, with both parties vying for voter support and positioning themselves strategically. This contest will not only shape the composition of the Upper House but also reflect broader political dynamics in Maharashtra.

Vivek Bhavsar
Vivek Bhavsar
Vivek Bhavsar is the Editor-In-Chief. He is a senior journalist having experience of more than 30 years in political and investigative journalism. He is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of TheNews21. He has worked with leading English mainline dailies, including The Asian Age, Free Press Journal, and also carries the experience of strides in leading regional newspapers like Lokmat and Saamana.


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