Ignoring the claims of its ally Congress, the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP), on Tuesday, nominated Kiran Pawaskar – former Shiv Sena leader who joined the party recently – and Nashik’s Jayant Jadhav for the legislative council by-polls slated on February 21 and 28.
The Congress has been trying to get one of these seats, as within six months of swearing in as chief minister, Chavan has to get elected to the state legislature.
The February 21 by-polls were necessitated after trade union leader Pawaskar resigned from the council to join the NCP while the February 28 by-polls will be held to fill the post left vacant after the death of NCP MLC Vasant Pawar.
Terming the seats to be rightfully theirs, the NCP said that the decision to nominate Pawaskar was taken in consultation with Congress state president Manickrao Thakre and chief minister Prithviraj Chavan. Jayant Jadhav, known to be in close proximity to public works minister Chhagan Bhujbal, is a former corporator from Nashik.
Thakre had, last week, argued that as Pawaskar had won the election by defeating Congress’ Sudhakar Gangane, they had a right over the seat.
“There was no real argument over Pawaskar’s seat. It is obvious that if he resigned from his post to join our party, we would get him nominated. Congress had no claim over this seat,” said NCP spokesperson Madan Bafna.
Rubbishing Congress’ claims and the speculations over Chavan being elected from one of the two seats, Bafna said: “Pawaskar’s seat was obviously meant for him and the other seat is from a local body constituency. So, chief minister cannot be elected on it.”