NCP’s List of Candidates Adds to Conundrum

The Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) which is struggling to overcome the internal bickering has released its first list of 12 candidates, including eleven from Maharashtra and one from Lakshadweep. However, the list has only added to the conundrum after NCP workers were distraught by the Pawar family’s feud.

The prominent names in the list are former state Irrigation Minister Sunil Tatkare, who would be contesting from Raigad, former state minister Gulabrao Devkar from Jalgaon, NCP supremo Sharad Pawar’s daughter and sitting MP Supriya Sule from Baramati, Udyan Raje Bhosale from Satara and Anand Paranjpe from Thane.

The party said the next list of candidates will be declared in the next couple of days. It has, however, desisted from announcing the candidate for contentious Ahmednagar seat. The party has not announced candidate from the Hathkanangale seat in south Maharashtra thereby leaving it for its alliance partner Swabhimani Shetkari Sanghatana.

The NCP has also not announced the candidature for Maval and Madha seats which have garnered attention from all quarters because of the family feud being staged for the candidacy from these constituencies.

NCP Chief Sharad Pawar’s nephew and former Deputy Chief Minister of Maharashtra Ajit Pawar has put his foot down to field his on Parth from Maval.

Sharad Pawar, the doyen of the Maharashtra politics was likely to contest from Madha. However, he pulled himself out from the ring at the last minute leaving the party workers in disarray. Pawar had announced last time that he would not contest the Lok Sabha election and instead chose the Rajya Sabha way. However, he had said that party workers wanted him to contest from Madha constituency in Solapur district, currently represented by NCP leader Vijaysinh Mohite Patil.

The 78-year-old, who completed five decades in politics two years ago, announced that since two members of his family were going to contest the polls, “somebody had to step back.” “Since I have already won elections 14 times, I decided not to contest the poll (this time),” he told reporters after holding a meeting with party leaders on Monday.

These frequent somersaults from the veteran leader has left the observers gaping in awe as Pawar is known for political acumen and apt decision making.

Not surprisingly, ruling BJP was forthcoming in attacking his stance. Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis said the NCP chief’s decision to pull out from poll fray was because he had “sensed the change in the air”.