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First Electoral Battle Between Uddhav And BJP In Andheri On 3rd November, Congress Sidelined

The Andheri assembly constituency by-election scheduled to be held on November 3 will be the first electoral combat between the BJP and the Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA), though the Congress party has still kept its stand undeclared, creating some suspense. Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) president Sharad Pawar has declared his support of the Shiv Sena (Uddhav) candidate Rutuja Latke, wife of the deceased MLA Ramesh Latke. The other factor that will impact the outcome will be the allotment of the election symbol, Bow & Arrow, claimed by both Sena factions. The Election Commission will decide which claimant gets the symbol. The Sena’s Eknath Shinde faction has decided to allow the BJP to fight the by-election though earlier, it wished to stake its ownership of the seat, since it wants to establish itself as the ‘true’ Sena. But a BJP announcement on Sunday that it will field veteran Murjibhai Patel has put all speculation to rest. Patel had contested the 2019 election as an independent candidate and gained substantial votes. Late Ramesh Latke was a popular personality since he used to help anyone who approached, irrespective of party affiliation or caste or creed. Uddhav Thackeray’s unilateral decision to allow Rutuja is considered a smart move although the Congress party is facing a dilemma since its electoral presence in Mumbai is going to be reduced further.