Mumbai: The Shiv Sena had set three main conditions before forging an alliance with the BJP in the presence of Amit Shah, one of which was that no ticket should be given to Kirit Somaiya, sitting Member of Parliament. In fact, the Sena had threatened that it would not campaign for Somaiya and, rather, work to defeat him in the polls.
This could be a probable reason for the BJP omitting his name in the first list. So, the party is still holding on to the Mumbai North-East seat and there is a possibility that the BJP may replace Somaiya with a face which would be more acceptable to the Sena.
In Mumbai city and suburbs, the BJP and the Sena will contest three constituencies each. The BJP has given a second chance to Poonam Mahajan and Gopal Shetty, sitting MPs from Mumbai North-Central and Mumbai North constituency, respectively. In all, the BJP has announced the names of 16 candidates from the State, 14 of whom are sitting MPs; the ones replaced are from Latur and Ahmednagar.
The party has denied a ticket to Dilip Gandhi from Ahmednagar, opting to give it to Dr Sujay Vikhe-Patil instead. Sujay is the son of Congressman and leader of the opposition in Assembly, Radhakrishna Vikhe-Patil. Dr Sunil Gaikawad, the sitting MP from Latur, has been replaced by Sudhakarrao Shrungare.
Party stalwart and union minister for shipping Nitin Gadkari will contest from his home constituency and RSS headquarters – Nagpur. Union minister of state for defence Subhash Bhamre and minister of state for home affairs Hansraj Ahir will run again from Dhule and Chandrapur constituencies, respectively.
Other sitting MPs who have been given tickets include state unit president Raosaheb Danve-Patil (Jalna), Dr Heena Gavit (Nandurbar), Raksha Khadse (Raver), Preetam Munde (Beed), Sanjay Patil (Sangli), Kapil Patil (Bhiwandi), Sanjay Dhotre (Akola), Ramdas Tadas (Wardha) and Ashok Nete (Chimur-Gadchiroli)