Mumbai: Ahead of the biennial poll from the Graduate and Teachers constituencies scheduled on June 8, Niranjan Davkhare, outgoing member of state legislative Council (MLC) of Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) is supposed to join Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). Niranjan, son of late Vasantrao Davkhare, former vice chairman of Upper House, was elected to the House as a member of the NCP in 2012 from Konkan Graduate constituency. If Sena and BJP contest separately, the fray will be difficult for Dr Deepak Sawant, Sena member and minister for public health, who might be repeated by the party from Mumbai Graduate constituency.
Davkhare is not happy with Jitendra Awhad, NCP leader in Thane, and is on his way to quit the party. BJP insiders claimed that he may join BJP instead of Shiv Sena. “Eknath Shinde, guardian minister of Thane, may field a candidate in Konkan division to establish his leadership in the region and Davkhare may be his party candidate,” another leader from Sena claimed. However, Davkhare refused to comment.
The Election Commission announced a second round of elections to two Graduates and two Teachers Division constituencies in the Legislative Council, which will go to polls on June 8. The four retiring members are Dr Apoorva P Hiray (BJP) from Nashik division Teachers constituency, Kapil H Patil (Janata Dal-United) from Mumbai division Teachers, Dr Deepak R Sawant (Shiv Sena) from Mumbai division Graduates and Niranjan Davkhare (NCP from Konkan division Graduates. The elections have been necessitated as the term of these four members ends on July 7.
The last date for filing of nomination papers is May 22. Polling for the elections will take place on June 8, while counting of votes and results will be declared on June 12. Ignoring protestations from party cadres, the BJP has announced the candidature of Aniket Vijay Patil from Nashik Teachers constituency. He is the son of former union Congress minister Vijay Naval Patil from Dhule. Outgoing independent member Hiray had been supporting the ruling BJP-led dispensation in the state. Hiray may now stand for 2019 assembly polls from Nashik. The BJP has also nominated Anil Kumar Rajesing Deshmukh for the Mumbai division Teachers constituency. He will be pitted against sitting Janata Dal (United) MLC Kapil Patil.