Eknath Shinde-led Shiv Sena to field Milind Deora for Rajya Sabha elections | Latest News India - Hindustan Times
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Eknath Shinde-led Shiv Sena to field Congress turncoat Milind Deora for Rajya Sabha elections

Feb 14, 2024 02:55 PM IST

Eknath Shinde-led Shiv Sena to field Congress turncoat Milind Deora for Rajya Sabha elections

Maharashtra chief minister Eknath Shinde-led Shiv Sena has named Milind Deora as its candidate for the upcoming Rajya Sabha elections. Deora, who recently switched from Congress breaking decades-old family ties with the grand old party, will file his nomination tomorrow.

Maharashtra chief minister Eknath Shinde welcomes former Congress leader Milind Deora who joined Shiv Sena, in Mumbai, Sunday, Jan. 14, 2024.(PTI)
Maharashtra chief minister Eknath Shinde welcomes former Congress leader Milind Deora who joined Shiv Sena, in Mumbai, Sunday, Jan. 14, 2024.(PTI)

Milind Deora, a Mumbai-based politician and son of Congress veteran late Murli Deora, justified his decision to switch to Shiv Sena, alleging that the grand old party has deviated from its ideological and organisational roots, "fostering" caste divisions and targeting business houses.

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“The Congress is not what it used to be in 1968 when my father joined, or in 2004 when I joined,” he said. “The party which ushered in economic reforms 30 years ago under the leadership of Manmohan Singh today abuses businessmen and industrialists. It calls them anti-national and criticises everything done by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.”

Political analysts, however, said the 47-year-old politician was miffed about his South Mumbai seat possibly going to the Shiv Sena (UBT) and may have quit in a huff.

Read: BJP fields Nadda for Rajya Sabha polls from Gujarat, Congress turncoat Ashok Chavan from Maharashtra

Deora was elected to Lok Sabha from Mumbai South in 2004 and 2009 but lost the consecutive general elections in 2014 and 2019 to Arvind Sawant who contested as a Shiv Sena (undivided) candidate on both occasions.

His nomination has also put an end to the speculations that the two would again face each other in the 2024 Lok Sabha elections albeit from opposite camps. Sawant, now in Sena (UBT), is likely to contest from Mumbai South as a joint candidate of Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA).

Deora's move followed a flurry of exits from the Congress party, with Baba Siddique joining Ajit Pawar-led Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) and former Maharashtra chief minister Ashok Chavan switching his allegiance to the rival Bharatiya Janata Party.

With these notable exits, the Congress has been dealt a major blow in Maharashtra. Still, the party has maintained that it won't affect its electoral prospects in the 2024 Lok Sabha elections.

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