Mumbai: Shiv Sena (UBT) is keen on contesting 4 out of 6 Lok Sabha seats in Mumbai and also likely to field party spokesperson Sanjay Raut from Mumbai North East Lok Sabha constituency, party sources have said.
All parties have started preparing for the Lok Sabha elections and the BJP has taken lead in that. The MVA too has seen major developments over the past few days with all the constituents of the alliance conducting a review of constituencies with an eye on Lok Sabha polls. All the Six seats in Mumbai belonged to the BJP-Shiv Sena alliance where both the parties contested three seats each. However, after the alliance was broken, now the Shiv Sena (UBT) wants to contest 4 Lok Sabha seats in the city. The Congress used to contest all the Six seats in the city. However, the Shiv Sena (UBT) has offered one seat each to the Congress and the NCP. Will the Congress accept this 4-1-1 formula or choose to contest independently is a key question.
Arvind Sawant to again contest from South Mumbai
The Shiv Sena (UBT) that began assessing Lok Sabha constituencies across the state last month, resumed the exercise after Ganesh festival. Over the past two days the party reviewed most of the constituencies in Mumbai. The party is likely to repeat its seating MP Arvind Sawant from South Mumbai, while the Mumbai North-West is likely to go to seating MP Gajanan Kirtikar's son Amol. Since Gajanan Kirtikar is with Shinde faction currently, the constituency might witness a contest between the father and the son.
The party is also likely to stake claim on Mumbai South-Central and Mumbai North-East. Mumbai North-East is currently being represented by BJP's Manoj Kotak. Shiv Sena (UBT) spokesperson and Rajya Sabha MP Sanjay Raut is a resident of this constituency. Hence, the Shiv Sena (UBT) is likely to field him from this constituency.
The Congress has a stronghold in Mumbai South-Central and hence the party can stake claim on the seat. The seat is being represented currently by Rahul Shevale, who had joined the Shiv Sena under Eknath Shinde last year. The Shiv Sena (UBT) is likely to stake claim on the seat since Sheval was part of the party in 2019. Hence, this seat is likely to be a contentious issue between the Shiv Sena (UBT) and the Congress.
The Shiv Sena (UBT) is likely to leave Mumbai North and Mumbai North-Central for the NCP and the Congress respectively. Though the Congress had won Mumbai-North multiple times in the past, the constituency is currently considered to be the BJP's stronghold from where the sitting MP Gopal Shetty had gained second largest lead in 2019. How the MVA resolves the tangle would be an interesting thing to watch in the forthcoming elections.