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Maharashtra: 5 Key Parties in Mix, Many Politicians Switch Allegiance in Search of Lok Sabha Ticket – News18

Deputy CM Ajit Pawar gave Mahadev Jankar a Lok Sabha ticket from his quota as part of the Mahayuti, to contest from Parbhani seat. (Image: @Devendra_Office/X)

Despite two alliances – Mahayuti and Maha Vikas Aghadi – the presence of a number of major parties has created the possibility of triangular or even multi-pronged contests in many Lok Sabha constituencies

The political scenario in Maharashtra ahead of the Lok Sabha elections is becoming more interesting, with five major parties in the mix despite there being two major alliances – the ruling Mahayuti and the opposition Maha Vikas Aghadi.

A triangular contest is expected on many seats and with so many options available, political leaders are also experimenting with their affiliations, which is resulting in rampant party hopping. So, a number of them are out trying their luck with new parties that may offer them a Lok Sabha ticket.

Here are some politicians, who have speedily changed tack with only weeks left for the polls:

Nilesh Lanke

Known as an Ajit Pawar loyalist, Nilesh Lanke recently quit as Parner MLA and snapped ties with the NCP faction led by the deputy chief minister. He joined the Sharad Pawar-led NCP, which was quick to reward him with a Lok Sabha ticket from Ahmednagar constituency. Lanke is a staunch opponent of BJP leader and state revenue minister Radhakrishna Vikhe-Patil and will be up against his son, Sujay Vikhe-Patil. Alleging that the minister wanted to end his career, Lanke had accused him of not using MP funds to develop the constituency. The rivalry between the Pawar and Vikhe-Patil families is old.

In the 2019 general elections, Radhakrishna Vikhe-Patil had asked for a ticket for his son from the Congress, but Sharad Pawar did not offer this seat to the party. Due to this, Sujay joined the BJP and got a ticket while his father, who was then the leader of the opposition, also joined the saffron party before the assembly poll.

Vasant More

A former leader of Raj Thakceray’s MNS, Pune-based Vasant More quit the party a few weeks ago after meeting the state leadership of the Congress. He had a word with Shiv Sena (UBT) leaders and also met Sharad Pawar, expressing his desire to contest from the Pune Lok Sabha seat. But, in the MVA, the Pune seat went to the Congress that had already announced the name of sitting MLA Ravindra Dhangekar as a candidate. More, who was contemplating contesting as an Independent, saw an opportunity after the Prakash Ambedkar-led VBA decided to go solo. He met Ambedkar and discussed the issue with him and is hoping for a positive response from the VBA, which might declare him as their candidate for Pune.

Mahadev Jankar

A cabinet minister in the previous Devendra Fadnavis-led government, Mahadev Jankar had also been hankering for a Lok Sabha ticket from both the alliances. He was miffed with the Mahayuti for ignoring his demands, and had also met Sharad Pawar with whom he had a successful discussion. Jankar represents the Dhangar community, which has influenced a significant number of votes in most parts of the state. Pawar’s idea behind roping him in was to secure the sizeable vote bank in the Baramati constituency, from where his daughter and MP Supriya Sule is contesting. This time she is facing a challenge from her family member and Ajit Pawar’s wife Sunetra Pawar. But, this did not happen as Fadnavis managed to placate Jankar, who got convinced to return to the Mahayuti fold. Ajit Pawar gave one Lok Sabha seat from his quota to Jankar, who will now contest from the Parbhani seat.

Vijaysinh Mohite-Patil

A former deputy CM, Vijaysinh Mohite-Patil is batting for the Solapur seat for his nephew Dhairyasheel Mohite-Patil. Upset with the decision of the BJP to repeat Ranjitsinh Nimbalkar, Vijaysinh held talks with Sharad Pawar’s NCP and even met the veteran politician at a public function. Last week, he and party leader Amol Kolhe had a meeting in which they discussed how to file Dhairyasheel’s nomination from Madha constituency. Interestingly, Vijaysinh’s son Ranjitsinh Mohite-Patil is a BJP MLC.

Jyoti Mete

Wife of late Maratha leader Vinayak Mete, Jyoti Mete also wants to contest the upcoming polls. Vinayak Mete’s Shiv Sangram is part of the Mahayuti but she first approached Sharad Pawar’s NCP. A few months ago, she resigned from a state government job as she is keen on contesting and also met Fadnavis. She wants to contest from Beed constituency, where the BJP has fielded Pankaja Munde. Jyoti is confident that the Maratha community will support her if she contests against Munde from Beed.

Archana Patil-Chakurkar

The daughter-in-law of former home minister Shivraj Patil-Chakurkar, Archana Patil-Chakurkar recently joined the BJP. Though she has not yet got a ticket, she may get some responsibility in the party and could be rewarded with a ticket for the assembly election, against Amit Deshmukh or Dheeraj Deshmukh of the Congress.

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