Will BJP Field Mangal Lodha from South Mumbai Seat? Leader’s Meeting With Raj Thackeray Triggers Buzz

1 month ago

Last Updated: April 12, 2024, 13:40 IST

BJP's Mangal Prabhat Lodha met MNS chief Raj Thackeray at his residence. (News18)

BJP's Mangal Prabhat Lodha met MNS chief Raj Thackeray at his residence. (News18)

The Maharashtra Navnirman Sena enjoys a good following in South Mumbai and Lodha’s meet is being seen as BJP trying to get Raj Thackeray’s support for his candidature

Is the BJP planning to field cabinet minister Mangal Prabhat Lodha from the South Mumbai seat for the Lok Sabha elections? Political circles are abuzz with the leader’s candidature after he visited MNS chief Raj Thackeray’s residence recently amid speculation that the new Mahayuti alliance partner may be given the seat.

When BJP started preparing for the Lok Sabha polls last year, it had two candidates on the list for the Mumbai South constituency: Rahul Narvekar, who is the Speaker of the Maharashtra state assembly, and Lodha, who has been winning from one of the assembly constituencies under the South Mumbai seat consecutively.

A source within the BJP said as Thackeray has given unconditional support to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, his party may not get a ticket for the Lok Sabha polls but could be accommodated in the seat-sharing formula for the assembly polls slated for year-end.

In such a scenario, Lodha’s meeting with Thackeray is being seen as the BJP seeking his support on the South Mumbai seat. The Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) enjoys a good following in South Mumbai even though they have never won the Lok Sabha polls from here.

Meanwhile, sources within Shiv Sena revealed that their party also wants to contest from the same seat. Traditionally, the South Mumbai seat has always seen a BJP vs Congress fight. However, for the last two terms, BJP gave the seat to the undivided Sena.

Sources said Sena is contemplating fielding either Milind Deora, who has just become a member of Rajya Sabha, or Yashwant Jadhav, who was the former standing committee chairman of BMC, if it gets the seat.

For the past few weeks, Narvekar has also stopped campaigning in the constituency amid confusion over who will get the ticket. Sources said discussions are on about three-four seats and soon, in a grand press conference, leaders of all three parties of the Mahayuti will announce their formula.

Mayuresh Ganapatye

Mayuresh Ganapatye, News Editor at News18.com, writes on politics and civic issues, as well as human interests stories. He has been covering Maharasht

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