Congress likely to field Patole, Wadettiwar, Shahu Maharaj, Praniti for LS polls | Mumbai news - Hindustan Times

Congress likely to field Patole, Wadettiwar, Shahu Maharaj, Praniti for LS polls

Mar 21, 2024 08:10 AM IST

State Congress finalizes candidates for Lok Sabha polls in Maharashtra, including Nana Patole, Shahu Maharaj, Vijay Wadettiwar, and Praniti Shinde, awaiting formal announcement.

MUMBAI: State Congress chief Nana Patole, Shahu Maharaj, the 12th direct descendant of Maratha King Shivaji Maharaj, opposition leader in assembly Vijay Wadettiwar and Solapur legislator Praniti Shinde are some of the candidates whose names have been finalised by Congress for the forthcoming Lok Sabha polls, although a formal announcement is awaited. The party also indicated that it would contest 18 seats in Maharashtra.

Nana Patole will be fielded from the Bhandara-Gondia constituency.
Nana Patole will be fielded from the Bhandara-Gondia constituency.

In the meeting of its central election committee, which includes Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge and former president Sonia Gandhi, in New Delhi on Wednesday, the grand old party has also finalized names of over a dozen candidates from Maharashtra for the polls. The list however has no names for any of the six seats in Mumbai.

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The party has been insisting on contesting from two seats from Mumbai, staking its claim on Mumbai North West and Mumbai South Central but Shiv Sena (UBT), its alliance partner in MVA, is willing to concede only Mumbai North and Mumbai North Central. Congress has been having differences with Shiv Sena (UBT) over seat-share in Mumbai.

In all likelihood, Patole will be fielded from the Bhandara-Gondia constituency. He was elected as member of Parliament (MP) from here in a BJP ticket against NCP heavyweight Praful Patel in 2014. Wadettiwar will probably be asked to contest from Chandrapur, facing state forest minister and BJP leader Sudhir Mungantiwar. While Wadettiwar was seeking his daughter’s candidature, according to party insiders, the top brass was of the opinion that he could win the seat if he himself contested.

MLA and daughter of former chief minister Sushilkumar Shinde, Praniti, is likely to contest from Solapur constituency, while another MLA Vikas Thakre may face BJP heavyweight and union minister Nitin Gadkari in Nagpur.

The party has been trying to convince Chhatrapati Shahu Maharaj to contest the general elections for a year, from the Kolhapur constituency.

It is learnt, that from Pune the party is likely to choose Ravindra Dhangekar who snatched the Kasba Peth seat in the assembly bypolls from the BJP bastion in a high-voltage election in March 2023. There is also a possibility of fielding Dr Abhay Patil as its Akola candidate. In all likelihood, his name would be announced if talks with Prakash Ambedkar-led Vanchit Bahujan Aghadi (VBA) do not go through, said a Congress insider.

Goval Padvi, son of senior leader and former minister KC Padvi, may be fielded from Nandurbar, while from Sangli the party is considering Vishal Patil, who gave a tough fight to BJP MP Sanjaykaka Patil in the last elections as Swabhimani Paksha candidate. Shiv Sena (UBT) has its eyes on the seat, seeking to field popular wrestler Chandrahas Patil, who was inducted recently.

For Amravati, Balwant Wankhede’s name is doing the rounds, Namdeo Kirsan from Gadchiroli-Chimur, Vasantrao Chavan from Nanded and Dr Shivaji Kadge from Latur constituency, revealed insiders.

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    Faisal is with the political team and covers state administration and state politics. He also covers NCP.

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