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Storm in NCP’s poll cup

india Updated: Sep 14, 2009 01:11 IST
Yogesh Joshi
Yogesh Joshi
Hindustan Times
Highlight Story

If Kolhapur spoiled the NCP’s Lok Sabha poll party, then Satara may follow suit in the coming state Assembly elections.

Udayanraje Bhosale, Maratha king Chhatrapati Shivaji’s 13th descendent and Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) MP from Satara, has taken a defiant stand against the party by announcing that all the local candidates for Assembly polls will be of his choice, not the party’s.

“Because of the childish attitude of some people, the party faced defeat at Kolhapur and Solapur in the Lok Sabha polls. This time, candidates fighting the polls from Satara will be of my choice,” said Bhosale.

While Satara continues to be the stronghold for party and Bhosale in particular, Kolhapur ditched the NCP after it lost both the seats there during Lok Sabha polls following the rebellion.

Bhosale, a bete noire of senior party leader Ajit Pawar, won the Lok Sabha polls by second highest margin in the state with a difference of 2.5 lakh votes.

Bhosale joined the BJP and became a minister in the then Sena-BJP government in 1998. However, he went to the Congress in 2001. From 1992-93 till now, the political graph of Bhosale (43) witnessed several ups and downs with ideology always taking a backseat.

Insolent against the party for quite sometime, Bhosale’s main grudge came last week after he lost elections for the chairmanship of Satara district central cooperative bank.

After the defeat, Bhosale sarcastically announced that he now feel “relieved from any obligation of the party and will walk independently in the future”.

Bhosale further threatened to resign from the party and alleged that he is being neglected by NCP leaders by not calling him to party meetings.

“Bhosale may have said a thing or two, but all the candidates from Satara will be of consensus,” said local MLA and NCP District Chief Shashikant Shinde, who is a close associate of Ajit Pawar.

After Bhosale’s adamant stand, trouble has increased for the party, which is facing another problem over forming an alliance with the Congress.

Despite tantrums against the party from Bhosale, party top boss Sharad Pawar has, however, maintained a conspicuous silence till now.

Prakash Binsale, the state spokeperson NCP said, “He is the our party’s obedient MP. However, the party will definitely discuss with him before deciding the candidates of Satara district.”