Maharashtra: 'Dropped' MPs mull options, vow to impact Lok Sabha polls

"Thousands of people are upset. I received phone calls from supporters who were weeping," said Patil, a two-term MP from Jalgaon, who was dropped in favour of MLC Smita Wagh.

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The Shiv Sena and the BJP may have dropped seven Lok Sabha MPs to beat anti-incumbency, but some of these law makers are unwilling to give up without a fight. They plan to contest as independents or put up their wards as candidates.

The Shiv Sena has re-nominated 17 of its 18 sitting MPs, except Ravindra Gaikwad from Osmanabad, while the BJP has dropped six, including Anil Shirole (Pune), Dilip Gandhi (Ahmednagar), Sharad Bansode (Solapur), A.T Nana Patil (Jalgaon), Harishchandra Chavan (Dindori) and Sunil Gaikwad (Latur).

"Thousands of people are upset. I received phone calls from supporters who were weeping," said Patil, a two-term MP from Jalgaon, who was dropped in favour of MLC Smita Wagh.

Patil added he would hold a rally of his supporters on Tuesday and decide his course of action, which could include contesting as an independent.

Chavan, a three-term MLA from Dindori, which is reserved for tribals, said his workers were upset him being denied the nomination. The BJP has nominated Dr Bharati Pawar, who had unsuccessfully contested against him in 2014 as a NCP nominee. The daughter-in-law of former minister AT Pawar, Bharati joined the party last week after the NCP chose former Sena MLA Dhanraj Mahale.

"I'm a loyal worker but will have to consult my workers about the way forward," said an upset Chavan. The Shiv Sena, too, may have to contend with the anger of the Ravindra Gaikwad faction in Osmanabad after he was dropped in favour of former MLA Omraje Nimbalkar.

"We will meet Uddhav saheb (Sena president Uddhav Thackeray) in an attempt to make him change his mind," said Ravindra, who found himself in a controversy after assaulting an Air India staffer in 2017. Ravindra claimed if nominated, he could win by over one lakh votes against his opponent Rana Jagjitsinh Patil of the NCP. His son Kiran blamed a faction in the party led by MLC Tanaji Sawant for his father being overlooked.

On Sunday, their supporters from Osmanabad, were stopped by the police when they were on their way to Mumbai to pay respects at late Sena chief Bal Thackeray's memorial at Shivaji Park and later head to the Thackeray family residence in Bandra to voice their protests. Sena office bearers in the district have also threatened to resign against the decision.

However, Sunil Gaikwad, in whose place Sudhakar Shrungare has been nominated from Latur, said he would work for the BJP and not rebel though he had an offer from the Congress. "The surveys on the basis of which I was denied a nomination were manipulated and my performance was not considered," he complained, while blaming district guardian minister Sambhaji Patil Nilangekar.

Suvendra, the son of Dilip Gandhi, in whose place Dr Sujay, the son of leader of opposition Radhakrishna Vikhe Patil has been declared the BJP candidate from Ahmednagar, has threatened to fight as an independent. Gandhi, a three-term MP from the seat and a former union minister of state, however said he would continue with the BJP and attributed his son's decision to his "young blood."

Bansode could not be contacted for his comments despite repeated attempts. The BJP has chosen Lingayat pontiff Jaisiddheshwar Swami from Solapur, which has a significant population of the community.

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