The by-elections were necessitated because of the resignation of Nana Patole as the BJP MP from Bhandara-Gondia and deaths of sitting BJP MP Chintaman Wanga (Palghar near Mumbai) and Congress MLA Patangrao Kadam (Palus-Kadegaon).
With Shiv Sena fielding Wanga's son Shriniwas in Palghar, the seat has become crucial for BJP, which has fielded Rajendra Gavit, former Congress MLA and and MoS for sports. Congress' Damoo Barku Shingada and Bahujan Vikas Aghadi's Baliram Jadhav are also in the fray.
Fadnavis defended Gavit's candidature saying, "There are 10 per cent people who join BJP from other parties because of our work and vision for development."
Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut said, "BJP has fielded Gavit, who contested the 2014 election against Wanga and lost. This indicates that BJP lacks confidence," he added.
Sena had cornered BJP by extending its support to Congress candidate Vishwajeet Kadam in the Palus-Kadegaon bypoll. The death of Kadam's father and former minister Patangrao Kadam in March necessitated the bypoll.
BJP has fielded former NCP minister Suresh Dhas for this bypoll.
BJP's Rajya Sabha member and former chief minister Narayan Rane has declared his support to NCP candidate Aniket Tatkare in the Raigad-Ratnagiri-Sindhudurg local authorities constituency, against Sena's Rajeev Sabale.
The six constituencies where Council polls will be held are: Raigad-Ratnagiri-Sindhudurg, Parbhani-Hingoli, Nashik, Wardha-Chandrapur-Gadchiroli, Amravati, and Osmanabad-Latur-Beed.
The Congress and the NCP jointly ruled Maharashtra for 15 years from 1999 to 2014. However, their alliance fell ahead of the October 2014 Assembly polls, which saw the BJP coming to power in the state.
Assembly polls are due in Maharashtra in the second half of 2019.
(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)