Political opponents BJP, NCP come together to fight MCA polls

mca election, mca election 2022 From left to right: Uddhav Thackeray’s PA Milind Narvekar, NCP MLA Jitendra Ahwad and BJP MLA (Mumbai BJP chief) Ashish Shelar after filing their nomination for MCA’s Apex Council on Monday. (Special arrangement)

On Monday, the final day for filing nominations for various posts, BJP’s Mumbai chief Ashish Shelar and NCP chief Sharad Pawar together formed a group to contest the election scheduled for October 20.

Shelar will be contesting for the MCA president’s post while Amol Kale is in contention to become vice-president. The Shelar-Pawar group has more big names in the list announced. Former minister in Maha Vikas Aghadi Jitendra Awhad will be contesting for an Apex Council post while former Maharashtra chief minister Uddhav Thackeray’s personal assistant Milind Narvekar too has been roped in from the same group.

Vihang Sarnaik, son of MLA Pratap Sarnaik and a key member of Maharashtra chief minister Eknath Shinde’s camp, will be contesting for the Mumbai Premier League T20 chairman’s post from the Pawar-Shelar group. Interestingly, Pawar had backed former India batsman Sandeep Patil for the top post a few weeks ago and had even given consent to use his name as backing for the group.

However, the veteran politician took a drastic U-turn on Monday to form a group with Shelar. Ajinkya Naik, who has been an Apex Council member before, will be contesting for the secretary’s post from both groups. More than a hundred candidates have filed nominations for various posts in the MCA Apex Council.

“MCA has always thrown surprises. Nobody expected that Pawar and Shelar would come together and form a group to contest the election. Till last night, it looked like both panels would be contesting on individual leaders’ names. But now things have completely changed post these two leaders coming together and forming their own panel,” an MCA candidate said.

The scrutiny of nominations will take place on Tuesday while the last date for withdrawal of nomination is October 14.

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