Mumbai, Oct 14 (UiTV/IANS) – On anticipated lines, the battle for the Andheri East Assembly constituency will be fought between the ruling ally Bharatiya Janata Party and the Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA)’ united candidate Shiv Sena (Uddhav Balasaheb Thackeray) nominees, here on Friday.
The BJP’s contender Murji Patel will lock horns with the Sena (UBT)’s nominee Rutuja Latke for what has become a prestige fight between the Balasahebanchi Shiv Sena and the MVA.
Both candidates are filing their nominations in the day — the last date for submitting the election papers — for the seat, which fell vacant after the sitting erstwhile two-time Shiv Sena MLA Ramesh Latke passed away in Dubai on May 11.
The Sena (UBT) has now fielded his widow and a former employee of the BrihanMumbai Municipal Corporation, Latke — whose resignation was finally accepted by the civic body on Friday (today) after a rap from the Bombay High Court on Thursday.
Incidentally, the late Latke had earlier defeated Patel, a BJP rebel who stood as an independent in 2019 by a wide margin in Andheri East, which was a Congress bastion till 2014.
While Sena (UBT)’s Rutuja Latke has the support of Congress, Nationalist Congress Party, CPI and other groups and civil society activists, BJP’s Patel is backed by Balasahebanchi Shiv Sena, Republican Party of India (A).
Both candidates displayed a massive show of strength with top leaders of their respective sides attending the nomination filing this morning.
MVA’s leaders Aditya Thackeray, Subhash Desai, Dilip Walse-Patil, Bhai Jagtap, Suresh Shetty, Anil Parab, Anil Desai and others accompanied Latke.
Patel was escorted by Ashish Shelar, Deepak Kesarkar, Ameet Satam, Prakash Jadhav and others to the Election Office in the constituency.
The Andheri East seat falls under the Mumbai North-West Lok Sabha constituency currently represented by veteran Sena (UBT)’s two-time MP Gajanan Kirtikar, and of the six assembly segments, three have elected BJP members, two Shiv Sena, and the fight for the vacant seat will be fought on November 3.