Every party wants Ramtek seat, Pawar NCP announces candidate before MVA seat-sharing finalised | Mumbai news - Hindustan Times
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Every party wants Ramtek seat, Pawar NCP announces candidate before MVA seat-sharing finalised

Feb 13, 2024 08:08 AM IST

Maharashtra’s Ramtek constituency has become a bone of contention in the Lok Sabha elections, with every political party staking a claim to the seat despite the two alliances yet to announce any seat-sharing pacts

NAGPUR: Maharashtra’s Ramtek constituency has become a bone of contention in the Lok Sabha elections, with every political party staking a claim to the seat despite the two alliances yet to announce any seat-sharing pacts. The NCP (Sharad Pawar) has now gone a step ahead by announcing Prakash Gajbhiye as its candidate even as the other partners of the Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA), the Congress and Shiv Sena (UBT), maintain that nothing has been finalised so far.

Every party wants Ramtek seat, Pawar NCP announces candidate before MVA seat-sharing finalised
Every party wants Ramtek seat, Pawar NCP announces candidate before MVA seat-sharing finalised

The Pawar NCP’s move has caused ripples within the MVA. Former Maharashtra minister Rajendra Mulak, who is also the president of the district Congress committee, said that they would decide their candidate after discussing the issue with all the MVA constituents. “We solicit applications from interested candidates, conduct interviews, shortlist names, send them to the parliamentary board, and then finalise the candidates. I don’t want to comment on what the NCP did, as every party has its own process, but the alliance has not finalised seat-sharing yet,” he pointed out.

Dushyant Chaturvedi, former MLC and district coordinator of the Shiv Sena (UBT), said he was not aware of the NCP’s decision to nominate Prakash Gajbhiye. “I have no idea about this development,” he said. “I recall Uddhav Thackeray clearly stating that he would not yield Ramtek to other constituents of the MVA.”

NCP (Sharad Pawar) leader Salil Deshmukh said it was the party’s internal decision to support Gajbhiye’s name. “Many of our office-bearers and workers demanded that Gajbhiye’s name be finalised for the constituency,” he said. “Accordingly, we decided to announce his name. We hope our other constituents will also endorse it.” Salil is the son of senior NCP (Sharad Pawar) leader Anil Deshmukh.

State Youth Congress chief Kunal Raut is also interested in contesting from Ramtek, and has put up banners and cutouts in several rural areas of Nagpur showing him as the party candidate from Ramtek. Kunal is the son of senior Congress leader and former Maharashtra minister Nitin Raut.

Similarly, the Shiv Sena (Shinde) intends to field Krupal Tumane, the incumbent Lok Sabha member, who hopes for his third term as Member of Parliament from Ramtek. Chandrashekhar Bawankule, president of the state unit of the BJP, also indicated that his party was planning to stake a claim on the Ramtek constituency in the seat-sharing arrangement.

Meanwhile, former Maharashtra minister and Congress leader Anees Ahmed dismissed rumours that he would soon join the NCP (Ajit Pawar). “I am very much in the Congress, and there is no question of leaving the party,” he stated. For the past week, there have been rumours that Ahmed might follow his party colleague Baba Siddique into the NCP.

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