Wednesday, 1 October 2014

NCP candidate in Karad South pulls out of fray

Nationalist Congress Party leader Ajit Pawar on Wednesday told party candidate Rajendra Yadav, who is contesting against former chief minister Prithviraj Chavan from Karad South, to withdraw from the fray and it declared support to Congress rebel candidate Vilasrao Undalkar.

"It was our conscious decision to support Undalkar in view of his seniority. He has been representing the constituency since 1980. Our fight against Chavan is serious and we are sure the people of South Karad will vote for Undalkar," Pawar said.

Yadav, after a brief meeting with Chavan, indicated that he would support the former chief minister as it was betrayal of the highest order by his own party. Initially, the NCP was trying to rope in Undalkar, but when he refused to oblige, the NCP told Yadav to file his nomination.

NCP district chief and former cabinet minister Shashikant Shinde claimed the party had told Yadav to withdraw his nomination, but the latter maintained that he withdrew as the NCP was discreetly supporting Undalkar, a seven-time MLA.

Shinde said the party had not taken any decision till Wednesday evening to support Undalkar.

The big-ticket fight in Karad South will now be between Chavan, Undalkar, BJP's Atul Bhosale and Shiv Sena's Ajeenkya Patil. The former chief minister is likely to get an upper hand with the support of Yadav, a deputy councillor of the Karad municipal council.

Yadav's withdrawal was the result of a week-long brainstorming of Congress leaders and sections of NCP, sources close to Chavan said. The Congress's calculations indicate that Yadav's withdrawal will benefit Chavan as Undalkar has remained a solid opponent of the NCP over the years and had even turned down the party's offer for candidature.

But Yadav told TOI that withdrawing his nomination was a personal decision. "I will meet my workers and decide who to support. But I am sure the NCP betrayed me. They were supporting Undalkar when I was their candidate," Yadav said.

Before withdrawing his candidature, Yadav went to Undale, where Chavan was campaigning. Chavan felicitated him and met him briefly.

Senior BJP leader Vinod Tawade told TOI that their candidate Atul Bhosale stood to benefit. Chavan,NCP,Karad south,elections

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