Congress party workers from Nanded district on Thursday insisted that former chief minister Ashok Chavan contest the assembly polls in 2019, instead of running for the Lok Sabha. Chavan is a Member of Parliament (MP) from Nanded and also the president of the Maharashtra Pradesh Congress Committee (MPCC). The demand was raised during a review meeting, to line up possible party candidates for the upcoming Lok Sabha polls at Tilak Bhavan at Dadar.
The Congress has begun a review of all 48 Lok Sabha constituencies from Thursday and had accordingly, summoned poll aspirants and the party chief reviewed the Marathwada and Western Maharashtra regions. Mallikarjun Kharge, the state in-charge of the party was present at the meeting. According to Naseem Khan, the party’s state vice president and former minister, the highest number of claimants, 42, approached the party, to contest from Latur. The Latur seat is reserved for a Scheduled Caste candidate and is currently represented by Sunil Gaikwad of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).
Murlidhar Nimbalkar, chairman of the Bhuvikas Bank of Baramati is a claimant for the Baramati Lok Sabha seat. “The Congress is strong enough in Baramati constituency. But members from the Pawar family of the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) have been contesting it for the past several years, even before the formation of the NCP. We have a hold on the Panchayat Samiti, Agricultural Produce Marketing Committees and other cooperatives in this LS constituency.
Ajit Pawar is the only NCP legislator in the total six assembly segments here. Hence, we have decided to stake a claim for Baramati,” said Nimbalkar. Supriya Sule, the daughter of NCP chief Sharad Pawar, represents Baramati. The NCP has claimed Pune, which was a bastion of the Congress before the 2014 LS polls. In Vidarbha, Vilas Muttemwar, the former MP, will be replaced. Some names were raised at the Thursday meeting, though Vidarbha will be discussed on Friday.