One commando was killed and 18 others were injured when an IED exploded in the Gadchiroli district of Maharashtra on Wednesday night. The commandos were part of Maharashtra’s elite anti-Naxal Unit C-60. Maoists blew up the commandos’ anti-land mine vehicle with the IED, Inspector-General Shivaji Bodkhe of Maharashtra confirmed.Five of the injured have been airlifted to Nagpur and seven more are on their way. One jawan is said to be in critical condition.
The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Tuesday announced its first list of 125 candidates for the Maharashtra Assembly elections. The party declared tickets for 90 sitting legislators, while dropping 12 others in seats which are believed to free them up for deliberations with ally Shiv Sena. The two partners have confirmed they will fight the elections together. The expected names that feature on the list include Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis from Nagpur South West and State party president Chandrakant Patil from Kothrud in Pune. The BJP’s Central Election Committee had last week met under the leadership of party president Amit Shah to finalise the first list. The party also made space for several turncoats who left the Opposition ranks to join the saffron alliance ahead of polls. The prominent names from the Opposition ranks to be given a ticket include Kalidas Kolambkar from Wadala, Radhakrishna Vikhe-Patil from Shirdi and Harshvardhan Patil from Indapur. High profile names missing from the list were of controversial BJP leaders Eknath Khadse and Prakash Mehta. Both former ministers had faced charges of corruption during the party’s first term.Unrest in party ranksThere were murmurs of rebellion within the party ranks with the announcement of the list. Mr. Khadse held an emergency meeting with his supporters, while south Mumbai legislator Raj Purhoit landed at the Chief Minster’s residence.Mr. Khadse said, “I have filed my nomination today. My name is not in the list issued by the party, but the possibility of me getting a ticket cannot be ruled out. I do not know if this seat is going to be with the Shiv Sena or with BJP. What I know is that I have been loyal to the BJP for the past 42 years.” The list also featured the BJP’s candidate for the Satara Lok Sabha by-election, erstwhile NCP MP Udayanraje Bhosale, who filed his nomination papers on Tuesday.Other opposition leaders accommodated on the list are Vaibhav Pichad from Akole, Jaykumar Gore from Man, Madan Bhosale from Wai, Ranajagjitsinha Patil from Tuljapur, Shivendraraje Bhosale from Satara and Sandeep Naik from Airoli. Notable names missing include Education Minister Vinod Tawde, Kalyan MLA Narendra Pawar, Kothrud MLA Medha Kulkarni and Mumbai MLA Sardar Tara Singh.