Kalawati Bandurkar has decided to exit the poll fray.
The poster woman of All India Congress General Secretary Rahul Gandhi, the farm widow Kalawati (52) had filed her nomination on Friday. Bandurkar, who was unwell, was taken to the returning officer’s office in Wani by ambulance
“I have decided not to contest the election,” Kalawati said and refused to meet people at her Jhalka village till September 29, the last day to withdraw nominations.
Bandurkar’s son-in-law, Vasanta Rajurkar of Dokiwahi village, even went on to threaten her that if she contested the elections against the ruling Congress-Nationalist Congress Party coalition, he would end his life.
While filing her nomination, Bandurkar was accompanied by members of the Vidarbha Janandolan Samiti.
Bandurkar’s family members told her not to file her nomination.
“As she is under stress, we will not force her to contest,” said Kishore Tiwari of Vidarbha Janandolan Samiti, the farmers’ group that was instrumental in Bandurkar filing her candidature.
“If Kalawati withdraws, Baby Bais will be the candidate of Swantantra Bharat Party, a poll-partner of Republican Left Democratic Front,” said Tiwari.
Meanwhile, the other woman from Wardha district whom Gandhi had met during his visit to Vidarbha last year, Shashikala Rengne (41) has also been refrained from contesting the polls by her family members.
Rengne, who is campaigning for the Congress in Wardha, met Kalawati on Friday and convinced her that it would be ungrateful to Gandhi thanks to whom they received benefits from across the country.