Formation of a third front by the rebel Congress and BJP leaders in the Amravati Municipal Corporation elections has sent the ruling Congress-NCP alliance and opposition partners BJP-Sena combine in a tizzy.
President Pratibha Patil’s son and Congress MLA from Amravati, Raosaheb Shekhawat will have his tasks cut out because former Maharashtra ministers - Dr Sunil Deshmukh, who was denied the ticket by the Congress in the last Assembly elections and Jagdish Gupta (BJP) are spearheading the new front.
According to reports reaching Nagpur on Tuesday, three former Congress mayors of Amravati – Milind Chimote, Ashok Dongre and Dipali Gawli - have also joined the front on Monday to take on the mighty Shekhawat.
Jankalyan Aghadi of Gupta and Janvikas Congress of Dr Deshmukh have vowed to provide an alternative to the people of Amravati and said that the alliance will work on the common agenda for development of Amravati city and the district.
Gupta, MLC, who is also a former minister and Dr Deshmukh, both are discarded from their parties, BJP and the Congress respectively. Both were bête noire for each others in the district politics for years. Deshmukh, who was denied a party ticket from Amravati assembly constituency, fought as an independent and gave a stiff competition to the present Congress MLA from the area, Shekhawat.
“We never had personal enmity though we fought against each other for years. It was the fight of ideologies of our previous parties. We have come together with the common agenda of development of Amravati. We are now 100% together and will contest this election to defeat both the allies,” Deshmukh and Gupta said.
Deshmukh held the ruling Congress-NCP alliance responsible the downfall of the corporation in the last two and a half years in every aspect. “The ruling combine could not materialize any development plans for the city,” he alleged.
“We are not fighting against injustice with any individual or not opposing any specific individuals. Both, the Congress and NCP are in the power but their performance was worst,” they pointed out,
Political observers here feel that, the new alliance will be an acid test for Shekhawat, who has been dominating the political arena of the district for the last couple of years. Similarly, the Sena who has the Lok Sabha seat and the legislative assembly seat from Amravati, would face a close competition, along with its ally, BJP in the corporation elections.
The former mayor and supporter of Deshmukh, Milind Chimote said that the new alliance will now confine with only the corporation elections because of its limited resources. “We will think about a wider alliance between the two leaders in other elections in coming days,” he further added.