Out of 312 candidates contesting from 35 constituencies in Maharashtra, around 13 BJP leaders have rebelled ahead of the October 21 elections.
Days ahead of the Maharashtra Legislative Assembly (Vidhan Sabha) elections, where 288 members of the Legislative Assembly will be elected, major upheavals in the Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) leadership in the region has raised tensions between BJP and its ally, the Shiv Sena.
However, despite efforts by BJP leader and Chief Minister, Devendra Fadnavis and Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray in dissuading rebels from contesting in the elections against the parties' official candidates, the now independent candidates are focused on not budge.
Apart from the BJP, around 25 per cent or 137 candidates are independent candidates from north Maharashtra, according to reports by the Times of India.
Check the list here:
Yogendra Gode, Buldhana
Known to be a big blow in the major alliance between the BJP and the Shiv Sena, the BJP nominee for the seat in 2014, rebelled and is now contesting against Sena's candidate, Sanjay Gaikwad.
According to the 2011 census, Buldhana had a net population of 286,992 people. Congress's Harshwardhan V Sapkal won the previous Assembly election with 46,985 votes in 2014. This year, Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP's) Abdul Rajjak Abdul Sattar, Shiv Sena's Sanjay Rambhau Gaikwad and Harshwardhan Sapkal from Congress party will be contesting for this seat.
Vinod Agarwal, Gondia
Vinod Agrawal of BJP at Gondia also turned out to be a prominent rebel. He was expelled by the BJP last week.
Congress party leader Gopaldas Shankarlal Agrawal had won the seat in 2009 as well as in the 2014 Assembly elections. This time MLA Gopaldas is up against 18 candidates for the seat including Congress's candidate Amar Prabhakar Varade, BSP's Dhurwas Bhaiyalal Bhoyar, Janardhan Mohanji Bankar of the Vanchit Bahujan Aaghadi among others.
Rajan Teli, Sawantwadi
Teli is contesting against state home minister Deepak Kesarkar for the seat in Sawantwadi. While the BJP-Sena alliance had their seat-sharing programme in which the BJP had the Kankavli seat, the Kudal and Sawantwadi seat was supposed to go to Shiv Sena.
However, BJP decided to announce Nitesh Rane, son Narayan Rane for its Kankavli seat which didn't sit well with Sena as Rane and Thackerays had a history of animosity. The Shiv Sena announced Satish Sawant, a close aid of Rane to contest against Nitesh for the Kankavli seat. The feud between the two Sangh parties escalated with BJP supporting two independents candidates from the Sena seats of Kudal and Sawantwadi
Rajendra Raut, Barshi
In Barshi constituency, Raut has challenged Sena's Dilip Sopal in the upcoming elections. In the 2014 Assembly elections, Congress's Dilip Gangadhar Sopal won the seat against Rajendra Vitthal Raut of Shiv Sena.
Sanjay Deshmukh, Digras
Deshmukh contesting against Sena minister Sanjay Minister in the Digras constituency.
Sena's Sanjay Dulichand Rathod won the election in 2014 defeating Congress's Vasant Vishvasrao Ghuikhedkar. In 2019, Congress's Tarik Sahir Lokhandwala, Shiv Sena's Sanjay Dulichand Rathod, BSP's Ejaj Navaj Khan, and Shehjad Samiulla Khan of the Vanchit Bahujan Aaghadi, are contesting from the constituency.
Raju Todsam, Arni
The contenders in the Arni constituency apart from Todsam include Shivajirao Moghe of Congress and Dr Sandeep Dhurve of BJP.
Todsam had won the previous election by defeating Congress's Moghe Shivajirao Shivramaji. This year, apart from Todsam and Moghe, BJP candidate Sandip Prabhakar Dhurve is also contesting from Arni.
Samarjit Ghatge, Kagal
Samarjit Ghatge who hails from the royal family of Kagal had entered BJP after the 2014 assembly election. He resigned from the position of Chairman of Maharashtra Housing and Area Development Authority and decided to contest independently.
Congress's Hasan Mushrif had won the 2014 elections against Shiv Sena's Sanjay Ghatge.
Narayan Patil, Karmala
Shiv Sena's Rashmi Bagal is contesting against Patil in Karmala.
In 2014, Shiv Sena candidate Narayan Govindrao Patil won against then Congress MLA Bagal Digambar. This year candidates are Digambar who is contesting from Sena party, BSP's Shaikh Jainuddin Dastgir, and Congress's Patil Sanjay Krishnarao.
Raju Patel, Versova
Patel will be battling against Mumbai Mayor Shiv Sena's candidate Vishwanath Mahadeshwar and Shiv Sena rebel Trupti Bala Sawant and for the seat.
BJP's Dr Bharati H Lavekar had won the Versova seat in the 2014 elections against Congress's Baldev Khosa.
Dr Vishwanath Vinkare, Umarkhed
Vinkare will be contesting against Sanjay Rathod of Shiv Sena for the Umarkhed constituency seat.
In 2014, Rajendra Waman Najardhane of the BJP defeated Congress's Khadse Vijayrao Yadavrao. This year, Congress's nominee Vijay Y Khadase is contesting against BJP candidate Namdev Sasane.