Maharashtra Lok Sabha Elections 2024: Eknath Shinde’s Shiv Sena Fields MLA Ravindra Waikar From Mumbai North West Against UBT Sena’s Amol Kirtikar

Chief Minister Eknath Shinde-led Shiv Sena on Tuesday announced the nomination of MLA Ravindra Waikar from the Mumbai North West constituency for the Lok Sabha elections. Waikar has been fielded opposite of Shiv Sena (Uddhav Balasaheb Thackeray) candidate Amol Kirtikar.

The development came as Waikar switched sides to the Shinde Sena from Uddhav Sena after facing heat from the Central agencies. Once considered as Uddhav Thackeray’s close aide, Waikar joined forces with the Shinde Sena on March 10. After he changed the sides, Shiv Sena (UBT) spokesperson Sanjay Raut alleged that Waikar was under pressure from the Central agencies to either join Shinde Sena or go to jail.

Before joining the Shinde camp, there had been talks for months that Waikar might leave the UBT Sena. He had come under scanner of the Mumbai Police’s Economic Offences Wing (EOW) and the Enforcement Directorate (ED) due to the construction of a luxury hotel in the city, which was allegedly built in breach of an agreement with the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC).

BJP leader Kirit Somaiya had filed a complaint alleging Waikar of being part of a Rs 500 crore scam, following which the EOW charged him along with five others. According to Somaiya, Waikar used his political influence to fraudulently obtain approval for constructing a five-star hotel on a plot designated for a garden, leading to significant losses for the BMC.

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