The Congress rebel and the expelled Maharashtra minister Sunil Deshmukh on Tuesday refused to heed to Avinash Pande, Congress high command’s emissary, and decided to remain in the fray from Amravati against the Congress nominee and son of President Pratibha Patil, Rajendra Shekhawat.
The senior Congress leader Pande met Deshmukh on Sunday and tried to persuade him for withdrawal. However, he flatly refused and decided to challenge Shekhawat in the elections.
According to available information, Deshmukh was given an offer of legislative council ticket and a ministerial berth if the Congress-NCP coalition comes in power in the state. “Why you are not giving such offer to Rajendra Shekhawat?” he asked.
Deshmukh told the party high command that if he withdraws, it would be a cake walk for the BJP candidate in the elections. “Shekhawat will not win in the elections and I will not allow the seat to go to BJP fold. And that’s why I am contesting,” he told Pande.
Meanwhile, the high profile BJP leader from Nagpur, Girish Vyas withdrew his nomination from Nagpur (north) on Tuesday morning while the former MLA and BJP leader, Mohan Mate refused to withdraw from Nagpur south constituency. But the Sena rebel and president of Nagpur district Sena, Shekhar Sawarbandhe withdrew his nomination from Nagpur (south) after being persuaded by party executive president Uddhav Thackeray.
Shekhar was all said to get the party ticket from Nagpur south but it went to deputy mayor Kishore Kumeria at the last moment. This enraged Shekhar who had filed his papers as an independent.