Are Maharashtra’s political parties being fair to voters?

The BJP has withdrawn its candidacy for the upcoming Andheri pause in Maharashtra. It will be the first major poll in the state after the fall of the MVA government following the split in Shiv Sena.

As a result of the BJP’s decision, Rutuja Latke, the candidate of Shiv Sena’s Uddhav Thackeray faction, is certain to win. This letter is based on the passing of Ramesh Latke, who won the last election.

The BJP’s decision to withdraw the candidate came before other political parties publicly lobbied to do so. The reason is that Maharashtra’s political tradition is to allow the relatives of deceased candidates to win without imposition. This comes with a caveat. Sharad Pawar, who is among the politicians demanding that the BJP withdraw his candidacy, said that if a sitting MLA disappears in three or four years before the next election, an appropriate run will make sense.

To a degree, this is an unusual development for the time being. The translation follows a bitter split in the Shiv Sena, which helped the BJP form a government again. Given this context, sticking to tradition is encouraging. The fact that the outcome of the moratorium made no difference to government stability may have played a part in what happened.

On the other hand, are the main political parties in Maharashtra fair to voters? Why should they assume that voters might want to automatically transfer their allegiance to the next of kin of a deceased legislator?

Read more: BJP withdraws candidate from Andheri East bypoll




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