Shiv Sena chief and Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray (Image: PTI)
Upcoming Madhya Pradesh by-election in November will witness a tough face off between old allies-turned political rivals, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and Shiv Sena, as the latter has announced to contest all the 28 bypolls in the state. The announcement, made by party's state chief Thadeshwar Mahawar on Wednesday, comes days ahead of the last date for filing nominations for the by-election, October 16.
Blaming 'BJP musclemen' for delaying the Sena's official list by threatening party candidates, Mahawar announced nominations for seven seats -- Gwalior, Sanchi, Biaora, Haat Piplya, Mandhata, Agar and Suwasra -- and said that the complete list would be out by Thursday.
Candidates who fulfil party formalities will be fielded in the bypolls, he said, adding that the party would also extend its support to willing independents for seats where suitable candidates cannot be shortlisted. District office-bearers have been assigned responsibility in poll-bound constituencies and the Central leadership would also be taking part in campaigning for the by-election, he added.
Mahawar, who hails from Jabalpur and is seen close to the family of Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray, also reportedly had a close-door meeting with Madhya Pradesh Congress Committee (MPCC) chief and former Chief Minister Kamal Nath in Bhopal on Wednesday but the party office-bearers did not confirm the reports.
Shiv Sena candidates in the past have tried their luck in both Assembly and Lok Sabha Polls in Madhya Pradesh, but the party could never make its mark in the elections.