Day after Palghar bypoll loss, Congress candidate says ally NCP helped BJP
NCP rubbishes allegations, says Damodar Shingada couldn’t even garner support from his own party workersUpdated: Jun 02, 2018 01:08 IST
A day after the Congress was pushed to fifth position in the Palghar bypoll and its candidate Damodar Shingada lost his deposit, chinks appeared in the unity between the main Opposition parties, the Congress and the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP). A day after the result, Shingada wrote a letter to NCP chief Sharad Pawar alleging that Anand Thakur, an NCP legislator from Palghar, had helped Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) candidate Rajendra Gavit. Shingada alleged that the NCP legislator was working for the BJP for “certain considerations”. The letter also says BJP garnered support from NCP leaders by threatening to reopen inquiries pending against them at local police stations.
“I have written to Sharad Pawar complaining about the betrayal by the NCP leaders at local level. It would have been difficult for the BJP candidate to win had the NCP worked for the alliance candidate whole-heartedly. The NCP has its pockets of dominance in parts of Dahanu, Vikramgad, Palghar. The NCP leaders were openly campaigning for the BJP candidate by citing it as the order by the state leadership,” Shingada alleged.
Thakur refuted the allegations. He said, “The Congress candidate himself had lost hopes way ahead of voting. We were never taken into confidence, despite which we fought for the alliance candidate. All the allegations including ‘financial considerations’ are baseless.”
Shingada secured a mere 47,714 votes of the 8.69 lakh votes polled. In a pre-poll understanding, the Congress and NCP had decided to contest the Palghar and Bhandara-Gondiya bypolls together.
The victory in the Bhandara-Gondiya bypoll, which has been attributed to Opposition unity, also had its share of controversy with local Congress leaders complaining that the NCP candidate got more votes from the areas under influence of the Congress instead of NCP.
The NCP rubbished the allegation. The party’s former state president, Sunil Tatkare, said, “Shingada has no right to point fingers at us. He has lost the deposit as he could not even garner support of his party workers. He should give the details of participation of Congress leaders and workers in his campaign. “
Tatkare also said the victory in Bhandara-Gondiya was an example of “perfect unity” between the two parties and that unity would help them in putting a front in the 2019 election. “If our candidate got less votes in Gondiya, the sitting MLA from the area is Congress’ Gopaldas Agrawal. He too should be held responsible for it,” he said.
At Bhandara-Gondiya, the NCP-Congress candidate Madhukar Kukde won by 48,097 votes defeating BJP candidate Hemant Patle. The bypoll was necessitated after sitting BJP MP Nana Patole resigned from the party blaming the Modi government for its “anti-farmer policies”. Patole later joined Congress.
Rahul may visit city soon
Congress president Rahul Gandhi is expected to hold a rally of booth level party workers from the city at Shanmukhanand Hall, Sion, on June 12.
He will also appear at a Bhiwandi court in the morning to record his plea in a defamation case filed against him by an RSS functionary. He is expected to attend a programme organised by a media house.
“Expect his appearance in the Bhiwandi court. Nothing has been finalised yet. We will announce the programme soon,” said Mumbai Congress chief Sanjay Nirupam.
First Published: Jun 02, 2018 01:08 IST