Sitting outside the office of the presiding officer at Maharashtra's Vidhan Bhawan, 64-year old Znyosho Rashtrapati, was seen scouting for supporters for filling nomination form for the biennial Rajya Sabha election, scheduled on June 17.
"Do you have NCP chief Sharad Pawar's number?," he asked a mediaperson, who promptly gave it to him. "I want to call him to request him to spare 10 NCP legislators who can support my nomination form," he said in all seriousness.
But going by his record -- he has tried contesting almost all parliamentary and assembly polls in the last two decades, and lost -- there are few who take him seriously. A native of Latur, he has contested against Vilasrao Deshmukh and son Amit Deshmukh in Assembly polls.
"I contest polls to keep the democratic traditions alive," the former state electricity boards employee said. Rashtrapati submitted his nomination papers to the returning Officer Anant Kalase but they were sans the mandatory signatures of legislators or the Rs 10,000 deposit.
An hour before the deadline for filing papers for the Rajya Sabha poll ended at 3 pm, there was buzz in Vidhan Bhawan corridors that RPI leader Ramdas Athawale, who failed to get re-elcted to Lok Sabha last year, may be filing his papers as a nominee of the Republican Left Democratic Front. However, no such thing happened.