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BJP decides to not contest Andheri East by-poll, victory for Uddhav faction

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Mumbai, Oct 17: A day after Maharashtra Navirman Sena chief Raj Thackeray wrote to Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis requesting not to field a candidate from the BJP for the upcoming by-poll of the Andheri East Assembly constituency, the saffron party has decided to withdraw its candidate from the by-poll.

BJP decides to not contest Andheri East by-poll, victory for Uddhav faction

BJP state president Chandrashekhar Bawankule has announced in Nagpur on Monday that the party will not contest Mumbai's Andheri East assembly by-election and their candidate Murji Patel will withdraw the nomination.

Andheri East by-poll: Raj Thackeray writes to Fadnavis, requests BJP not to contestAndheri East by-poll: Raj Thackeray writes to Fadnavis, requests BJP not to contest

"We were sure of our victory but BJP has been doing this in the state for a long time. This is an example for people that although we were winning, we've taken back our nomination. This is a good decision by Devendra Fadnavis," ANI quoted Bawankule in a tweet.

In a surprise move, Raj Thackeray, in a letter that he shared on his social media page, said that the MNS will not be contesting the November 3 byelection in reverence to late MLA Ramesh Latke, whose death has necessitated the election. "I sincerely request you not to enter the byelection and field a candidate against Rutuja Latke. I have witnessed late Ramesh Latke's journey and growth in the political arena." Ramesh Latke, the sitting MLA from Andheri East, died of a cardiac arrest in May this year.

Responding to his request, Fadnavis, on Sunday, said, "I will have to discuss the issue with our party leaders and Chief Minister Eknath Shinde. I admit that he sent the letter in good faith, but we will seriously discuss it." "The final decision will be taken only after a discussion with the senior leadership in the party. I alone can't decide about it. The candidates have already filed their nominations as well," the BJP leader stated.

Hours later, an MLA from Shinde camp requested the Chief Minister not to field a candidate in the by-poll.

Shiv Sena is divided house with one faction led by Chief Minister Eknath Shinde and other by Uddhav Thackeray.

Shinde launched a rebellion against the party in June. Majority of MLAs sided with him, which led to the collapse of the Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA-comprising the Shiv Sena, NCP and Congress) government led by Uddhav Thackeray.

Later, Shinde was sworn in as the 20th chief minister of Maharashtra, while BJP stalwart Devendra Fadnavis took oath as the deputy CM.

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