BJP may change seven sitting MPs including Kirit Somaiya

Mumbai: Bharatiya Janata Party’s selection committee for the state has recommended names of all sitting Members of Parliament (MPs) to get tickets for Lok Sabha polls.

However, sources within the BJP, out of the current 22 MPs, at least seven are expected to be shown the door. This includes the state party chief Raosaheb Danve and Kirit Somaiya, who had performed badly in the report cards that were handed out to the MPs in October 2018.

A source from the party claimed, Prime Minister Narendra Modi will personally approve the final candidates of the party.
The first candidate to be replaced is Kirit Somaiya from North-East Mumbai.

A BJP source said, he is likely to be replaced by Poonam Mahajan who is the MP from Mumbai North-Central. Meanwhile, minister for power, Piyush Goyal is expected to be given a ticket from Mahajan’s N-E constituency. Goyal is presently a Rajya Sabha member and his term is expected to end on July 4, 2022.

Shiv Sena is said to have strongly opposed Somaiya and have asked the BJP to drop him. Somaiya had termed Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray and his son Aaditya, who is chief of Yuva Sena, as ‘mafia’ during the BrihanMumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) elections held in 2017.

Local Sena workers informed the party chief Thackeray, that they would work against Somaiya to ensure his defeat. The Marathi voters who are a sizeable lot in this constituency are against him. The second big name of BJP, is of Danve.  “Being a minister of state for petroleum, Danve’s performance was very bad even as the state chief of the party,” claimed the source.

“Party president Amit Shah and Modi had given credit to Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis for the party’s performance in the local body elections overlooking Danve. This is a clear indicator that he will be replaced,” the source said. Kapil Patil from Bhiwandi, Dilip Gandhi from Ahmednagar, Sunil Gaikwad from Latur, Sharad Bansode from Solapur and Sanjay Kaka Patil from Sangli are few other names likely to be replaced.

BJP is expected to give a ticket to Dr Sujay Vikhe-Patil from Ahmednagar, Dr Jai Siddheshwar Shivacharya Mahaswamy from Solapur. He is a religious guru from the Lingayat community. Meanwhile, Amar Sabale, the sitting Rajya Sabha member’s name is also doing the rounds for Solapur seat. Sabale’s term is expected to end on April 2, 2020.

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