Mumbai: Andheri East bypoll, a litmus test for Uddhav Thackeray’s Shiv Sena

The Election Commission of India (ECI) on Monday announced the date for the bye-elections to the Andheri (East) Assembly constituency in Mumbai, the first election in the city after the split in the Shiv Sena.

The EC on Monday released the schedule for bypolls to seven Assembly constituencies in Maharashtra, Bihar, Haryana, Telangana, Uttar Pradesh and Odisha. The elections will be held on November 3 and the last date for filing nominations is October 14, the EC said.

In Maharashtra, the election will take place in Andheri East, the constituency of Shiv Sena MLA Ramesh Latke, who died in May this year in Dubai after a heart attack. While the Uddhav Thackeray-led Shiv Sena has fielded Latke’s wife Rutuja in the election, the BJP is fielding former Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) corporator Murji Patel.

The Andheri bypoll will take place before the BMC elections and will be a litmus test for the Shiv Sena, which has faced a vertical split after a rebellion spearheaded by Chief Minister Eknath Shinde and other MLAs.

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he Shiv Sena has been insisting that the elections should be fought unopposed as Latke’s wife herself is contesting.