Former NCP leader from Kolhapur to join Congress | india | Hindustan Times
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Former NCP leader from Kolhapur to join Congress

Former Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) leader Sadashiv Mandlik, who was elected as Member of Parliament in 2009 from Kolhapur as an independent candidate, has indicated his intention to join the Congress.

india Updated: May 25, 2011 02:16 IST
Yogesh Joshi

Former Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) leader Sadashiv Mandlik, who was elected as Member of Parliament in 2009 from Kolhapur as an independent candidate, has indicated his intention to join the Congress.

Mandlik, 77, once a close aid of NCP chief Sharad Pawar who had drifted away from Pawar before the 2009 Lok Sabha polls, announced on Tuesday that within a month he would decide on joining the Congress.

“There is a common voice that I should join Congress. In the days to come, I will be talking to people in Delhi and Mumbai and also with my workers from the district before taking a decision,” said Mandlik.

Mandlik also announced in a separate press release that a meeting of workers has been called in next eight days. “The decision will be taken after speaking with like-minded leaders,” he added.

Tilting towards the Congress even as Mandlik previously hinted of not contesting any elections further is seen as his paving the way for son Sanjay in the otherwise NCP-dominated Kolhapur district.

Hi son Sanjay said: “My father’s joining Congress is being taken keeping in mind the sentiments of party workers.”

Congress workers feel that Mandlik’s joining the party will increase their prospects in the region, which has been an NCP stronghold for a decade.

Mandlik was a friend-cum-colleague of Pawar for more than 40 years. However, Pawar denied Mandlik a Lok Sabha ticket while fielding Hasan Mushrif in the district polls.

This irked Mandlik, who charged Pawar as “most untrustworthy and who has illegally amassed hundreds of acres of land to build housing projects”.

Mandlik even contested the Lok Sabha polls from Kolhapur as an independent and won with a handsome margin by defeating NCP nominee Sambhajiraje Chhatrapati.