MVA throws weight behind independent candidate Shubhangi Patil in Nashik council poll

BySurendra P Gangan and Faisal Malik
Jan 17, 2023 12:46 AM IST

On the last day of the withdrawal of nominations for the five legislative council seats, the MVA also announced a swap of seats as an internal adjustment after the revolt by the Congress candidate in Nashik.

Mumbai Caught unawares by Congress rebel Satyajit Tambe’s sudden decision to contest as an independent candidate, the Maharashtra Vikas Aghadi (MVA) on Monday announced its support to another independent candidate, Shubhangi Patil from the Nashik Graduates constituency. However, the BJP has not announced its support to Tambe as was expected.

HT Image
HT Image

On the last day of the withdrawal of nominations for the five legislative council seats, the MVA also announced a swap of seats as an internal adjustment after the revolt by the Congress candidate in Nashik.

The MVA backed Shubhangi Patil as the Shiv Sena (UBT) candidate from the Nashik Graduate constituency. The Congress gave up its claim on the seat after its official candidate, Sudhir Tambe, declined to file his nomination, and his son Satyajit filed his nomination instead on the last day.

Against the backdrop of the revolt, the Congress decided to swap the Nashik Graduates seat with the Nagpur Teachers’ constituency which was earlier conceded to the Shiv Sena (UBT) as a seat-sharing arrangement between the MVA constituents. The Congress will now support the Vidarbha Shikshak Sanghatana’s Sudhakar Adbale as the MVA candidate. The official announcement of Adbale’s name is yet to be made.

Soon after the revolt by the Tambes on Friday, the MVA swung into action and wooed Shubhangi Patil who had filed her nomination as an independent candidate in Nashik. Patil, who heads a teachers union, had recently joined the BJP. She met Shiv Sena (UBT) chief Uddhav Thackeray in Mumbai, giving a clear indication of switching loyalties to the Sena (UBT) after her party hinted at its support to Tambe. Maharashtra Congress chief Nana Patole said, “We are contesting the Nagpur seat whereas Shubhangi Patil will be the MVA candidate for the Nashik constituency.”

Against the backdrop of the embarrassment caused by the revolt of the Congress candidate, MVA leaders repeatedly discussed the candidates in the two constituencies in the last couple of days. “Thackerayji spoke with Patole and NCP chief Sharad Pawar and decided on the final candidates for the coalition in two constituencies,” said the Sena (UBT)’s Sanjay Raut. “There was a mess within the MVA over the candidature in this election, but we will ensure that it does not happen next time. Also, the Shiv Sena (UBT) will not sacrifice (for two other constituents) every time.”

Although Satyajit Tambe is expected to defect to the BJP, he has not asked for support from the party, as his father Sudhir Tambe reiterated on Sunday. Tambe has said that he will clarify his stand in a day or two. The Congress has suspended Sudhir Tambe, and is expected to initiate action against Satyajeet as well. Satyajit began his campaign by meeting teachers from SSGM College, Kopargaon on Monday.

All the major political parties witnessed the emergence of differences within during these biennial polls. Besides the revolt by the Congress’s official candidate in Nashik, NCP leaders in Nagpur and Aurangabad refused to withdraw to make way for the official candidate. The NCP initiated action against Satish Itkelwar after he refused to withdraw his nomination from Nagpur. Pradeep Solunke, another NCP leader from Aurangabad, has fielded himself against the party’s official candidate Vikram Kale. Solunke, who was using party chief Sharad Pawar in his campaign, was sacked by the party.

In addition to these, Advait Hirey, a BJP leader from Nashik, met Uddhav Thackeray in Mumbai, while another BJP leader and former MP Sanjay Kakde has spoken against the support to Satyajeet Tambe.

The polls to three teachers’ constituencies (Aurangabad, Konkan and Nagpur division) and two graduate constituencies (Nashik and Amravati division) will be held on January 30. The votes will be counted on February 2.

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