LokSabha 2019: Bapat appointed as alliance coordinator, out of poll race

ST CORRESPONDENT
Thursday, 14 March 2019

Before Girish Bapat’s appointment, there was talk in political circles that Bapat is aspiring to get the party ticket for the Pune seat.

PUNE: Speculation that District Guardian Minister Girish Bapat is an aspirant for the Lok Sabha (LS) elections from Pune has been put to rest following his appointment as the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) coordinator for western Maharashtra for the polls. Shiv Sena MLC Neelam Gorhe is the other coordinator for the alliance from the region. 

Before his appointment, there was talk in political circles that Bapat is aspiring to get the party ticket for the Pune seat. However, BJP leaders said the party would not give him both responsibilities as coordinator and the Lok Sabha candidature simultaneously.

Though the BJP has not announced its Pune Lok Sabha candidate yet, sitting MP Anil Shirole, BJP-supported MP Sanjay Kakade, District Guardian Minister Girish Bapat’s names were being discussed as likely candidates. 

Kakade has declared that he will join the Congress. Now, there are two names being prominently discussed by party workers. Now that Bapat has been appointed alliance coordinator for western Maharashtra constituencies of Pune, Baramati, Maval, Shirur, Solapur and Madha, only Shirole remains in the race.

A senior BJP leader said, “Bapat is an experienced leader who has good relations with all party members including Shiv Sena. Therefore, the party has given him responsibility to coordinate with alliance parties. 

He has shown interest in Pune Lok Sabha seat. After appointment of coordinator, the BJP has indicated he is not in the Pune Lok Sabha aspirants’ list.”

Yogesh Gogawale, BJP City Unit President said, “The party has appointed District Guardian Minister  Girish Bapat as coordinator of the alliance. He will be responsible for coordination between BJP and Shiv Sena. He is our senior leader so the party has given him this responsibility.”   

Shivajirao Adhalrao is the Shiv Sena MP in Shirur and Shrirang Barne is Maval Lok Sabha MP. In the remaining four Lok Sabha constituencies of Solapur, Madha, Baramati and Pune, the BJP will field its candidates, but the party has not yet announced their names yet.

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