Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde on Sunday said he has requested NCP president Sharad Pawar and leaders of Congress to honour the political tradition in the state to ensure unopposed by-polls to the seats that fall vacant due to the death of sitting lawmakers.
The byelections to Kasba Peth and Chinchwad constituencies in Pune, scheduled for February 26, were necessitated due to the death of MLAs Mukta Tilak and Laxman Jagtap, respectively. Both of them belonged to the BJP.
The results of these polls will be declared on March 2.
The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), which shares power with Balasahebanchi Shiv Sena led by Shinde, on Saturday announced the candidature of Hemant Rasane from Kasba Peth constituency and Ashwini Jagtap, widow of Laxman Jagtap, from Chinchwad seat in Pimpri-Chinchwad township.
Opposition Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA), an alliance of Shiv Sena (Uddhav Balasaheb Thackeray), Nationalist Congress Party (NCP), and Congress, has so far not declared its candidates for the byelections.
"I spoke with NCP Chief Sharad Pawar, Leader of Opposition Ajit Pawar, state NCP chief Jayant Patil, his Congress counterpart Nana Patole, and MNS president Raj Thackeray on Saturday.
"I requested them that the tradition of the unopposed election of candidates fielded from the seats that fall vacant due to the death of sitting representatives be upheld," Shinde told reporters in Kalyan.
He recalled the BJP had withdrawn its nominee for the Andheri assembly bypoll in Mumbai last year on the appeal made by Sharad Pawar and Raj Thackeray.
The BJP's move ensured that Rutuja Latke, the candidate for the Uddhav faction of the Shiv Sena, sailed through comfortably.
That by-election was necessitated by the death of Latke's husband and Shiv Sena legislator Ramesh Latke in May.