Congress suspends Sudhir Tambe, MVA constituents realign seats
According to Congress leaders, similar action is expected to be taken against Satyajeet Tambe as well in a day or two.
Mumbai: The Congress has taken disciplinary action against its three-term MLC Sudhir Tambe for defying the party diktat and not filing his nomination for the legislative council election from the Nashik Graduate constituency. The party has suspended Tambe, pending inquiry, days after his son Satyajeet Tambe filed his nomination as an independent candidate from the same constituency and there was speculation that the BJP would support his candidature.
According to Congress leaders, similar action is expected to be taken against Satyajeet Tambe as well in a day or two. Sudhir Tambe, meanwhile, declared that he had nothing to say, as the party had ordered a probe. “It is not true that we are joining the BJP, and neither have we have asked for BJP support for Satyajeet,” he said.
After the Tambe episode, the three parties that make up the Maharashtra Vikas Aghadi (MVA) coalition engaged in some political strategising to deal with the last-minute abandonment. The revolt by Satyajeet, taking place as it did on the last day of filing nominations, had put the Congress and Sena (UBT) in a fix as they could not swap seats within the deadline. The revolt changed equations and the possibility of winning from Nashik and Nagpur for the MVA.
In the absence of Tambe in the fray from Nashik, the Sena (UBT) emerged as the stronger party from the constituency. Similarly, the Congress has a stronghold in the Nagpur Teachers’ constituency, though the seat had been given to the Sena as an internal adjustment within the MVA. The Sena had fielded Gangadhar Nakade as its candidate but he is now expected to be asked to withdraw the nomination. Instead, the Congress is expected to extend its support to either Rajendra Zade or Sudhakar Adbale, both independent candidates from the constituency.
The Sena and Congress are now comfortable in Nashik and Nagpur respectively. They are expected to formally announce the final official candidates today, which is the last day to withdraw nominations. “We will announce our official candidates for both Nashik and Nagpur on Monday. We will fight the Nashik seat as a united combine and win it,” said Maharashtra Congress chief Nana Patole.
The MVA has also decided to extend support to independent candidate Shubhangi Patil, and formally announce tomorrow that she is the Sena (UBT)-supported candidate from the Nashik Graduate constituency. “If the key MVA leaders from North Maharashtra set their mind to it, defeating Satyajeet is not difficult,” said a Congress leader. “The voters in the Nashik Graduate constituency are from five districts of North Maharashtra where many key MVA leaders dominate educational institutions. North Maharashtra is a stronghold of both the Sena (UBT) and NCP. If they stand united, the victory of Shubhangi Patil, who heads a teachers’ union and is a prominent teachers’ leader, is possible.”
BJP leader and revenue minister Radhakrishna Vikhe Patil, meanwhile said that the party would extend support to Satyajeet Tambe if he asked for it. “We will ensure his victory if our party decides to support him,” he declared.