The Bharatiya Janata Party on Monday withdrew the nomination of its candidate Murji Patel for the bye-election in Andheri (East) Assembly constituency in Mumbai, ANI reported.
The bye-election, slated for November 3, was necessitated by the death of Shiv Sena MLA Ramesh Latke. The legislator died due to a cardiac arrest in Dubai on May 11. Many leaders had urged the BJP to withdraw its candidate to allow Latke’s wife get elected unopposed.
“We were sure of our victory...” BJP’s Maharashtra unit chief Chandrashekhar Bawankule said on Monday. “This is an example for people that although we were winning, we have taken back our nomination.”
Patel was the joint candidate of the BJP and the Shiv Sena faction headed by Chief Minister Eknath Shinde. The other faction, headed by former Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray, has fielded Latke’s wife Rutuja Latke for the bye-election.
Several politicians such as Nationalist Congress Party chief Sharad Pawar, Maharashtra Navnirman Sena chief Raj Thackeray and Shinde faction MLA Pratap Sarnaik had urged BJP’s Devendra Fadnavis to not field a candidate in the bye-election.
In a letter, Raj Thackeray had told Fadnavis said that Ramesh Latke was an efficient worker who began his political journey as a “shakha pramukh” – a local unit chief of the Shiv Sena.
“I have witnessed his journey and growth in the political arena,” Thackeray had said. “After his death, to see his wife become an MLA in his constituency will be a solace to his departed soul.”
The MNS chief had added that such a gesture would be in consonance with Maharashtra’s culture.
“Whenever there has been a situation wherein a sitting MLA has passed away and a family member has filed...their candidature, our party has refrained from fighting the bye-poll,” Thackeray had said. “This is our way of paying our reverence to the departed soul.”