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Maharashtra Election 2019: Jailed mafia don Chhota Rajan’s brother Deepak Nikhalje gets ticket

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Mumbai, Oct 03: The Republican Party of India (Athawale), an ally of the ruling BJP, has fielded Deepak Nikalje, brother of jailed underworld don Chhota Rajan, from Phaltan Assembly constituency in Western Maharashtra.

Maharashtra Election 2019: Jailed mafia don Chhota Rajan’s brother Deepak Nikhalje gets ticket

The RPI, led by Union minister Ramdas Athawale, has been given six seats as part of the seat-sharing deal between the BJP, Shiv Sena and other smaller allies for the October 21 state elections.

Athawale announced the candidates in Mumbai on Wednesday. "This time he expressed willingness to fight the election from Phaltan since he hails from that area and has a good network there," said a senior RPI leader.

Nikalje, who has been with the RPI for several years, had earlier unsuccessfully fought assembly elections from Chembur in Mumbai on the party's ticket. However, as per the seat-sharing deal; it has now been allotted to Shiv Sena.

In 2018, a case was registered against Nikhalje for alleged rape and sexual harassment based on the complaint of a 22-year-old woman.

After 27 years on the run, Nikhalje's notoriously known brother Rajendra Sadashiv Nikhalje alias Chhota Rajan was arrested in Bali on 25 October 2015 after which he was extradited to India on 6 November.

Last year, he was convicted of the murder of Mid Day's crime and investigations editor J Dey and was handed life imprisonment.

Five other seats where Republican Party of India would be fielding candidates are Malshiras in Solapur district, Bhandara and Naigaon in Nanded district, Pathri in Parbhani and Mankhurd-Shivaji Nagar in Mumbai.

(with PTI inputs)

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