Andheri bypoll: BJP clears way for Sena's Rutuja Latke; withdraws Murji Patel as its candidate
Rutuja Latke was contesting against BJP candidate Murji Patel in her husband's constituency of Andheri (East). Her husband, Ramesh Latke, a Shiv Sena MLA, passed away earlier this year.
The Bharatiya Janata Party, on Monday, withdrew its candidate from an Andheri by-election in support of a candidate from Uddhav Thackeray's Sena faction.
Rutuja Latke was contesting in her husband's Andheri (East) constituency against BJP candidate Murji Patel. Due to Patel's exit now, her election has a clear path.
Her husband, Ramesh Latke, a Shiv Sena MLA, passed away earlier this year. Raj Thackeray, Uddhav Thackeray's estranged cousin, was among the first leaders to come out in her support.
In an unexpected move, the Maharashtra Navnirman Sena chief wrote to BJP leader and Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis on Sunday, urging him to withdraw his party's candidate so that Rutuja Latke could win the by-elections unopposed.
Hours later, an MLA from the rival Eknath Shinde camp wrote to the Chief Minister, requesting that the BJP not field a candidate against Latke in honour of her late husband. MLA Pratap Sarnaik wrote to CM Eknath Shinde last night, urging all parties to support Rhutuja Latke and allow her to win the election.
The deadline for submitting nominations for the Andheri East bypoll on November 3, is today.
NCP President Sharad Pawar had also urged the BJP to withdraw its candidate. The NCP chief Sharad Pawar said, "The new member's (MLA) term will be only one and a half years. The by-election is being held due to Ramesh Latke's untimely death. His contribution must be taken into account."
The BJP candidate, Murji Patel, who filed his nomination last week, said he would withdraw from the race if the party asked him to.