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CM Devendra Fadnavis fields close aide Prasad Lad for Council by-poll

While Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leaders have been locked in a race to bag a ticket ahead of the Council by-poll, chief minister Devendra Fadnavis has put his man in the field despite strong opposition from within the party. Prasad Lad, erstwhile Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) leader who joined BJP one and a half years ago, will be the party’s candidate in the upcoming election. Sena has also supported Mr Lad’s candidature, clearing his way for a victory. Mr Lad met Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray late on Sunday night at Matoshree.

The old guard in Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) like chief spokesperson Madhav Bhandari and leaders like Shaina N.C. were hopeful for getting a shot. But, CM Fadnavis was not keen on either of them. Mr Lad has been in Mr Fadnavis’ close circle for quite some time. According to sources, Mr Lad reached out to Mr Thackeray on Sunday after Mr Fadnavis asked him to get the Sena leadership on board.

On Monday morning, Mr Lad filed nominations in Vidhan Bhavan. State BJP chief Raosaheb Danve expressed confidence about Lad winning the election.

Meanwhile, Congress has given a ticket to Dilip Mane a senior leader of the party from Solapur. Maharashtra Congress chief Ashok Chavan, former chief minister Prithviraj Chavan and other leaders were present at the time. “Mr Mane will get ‘hidden arrows’ in this election and he will win,” claimed Mr Chavan. He was trying to point out that sulking MLAs from Sena would cross vote for the Congress candidate.

In the affidavit filed by Mr Lad before the Election Commission, he has declared his property of Rs 210 crore. According to his affidavit, he owns movable property worth Rs 48 crore as well as Rs 39 crore in shares. His wife Nita, daughter Sayali and son own property worth Rs 48 crore, Rs 1.15 crore and Rs 28 lakh respectively.

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