Maharashtra polls: Seven MLAs may not make it to Cong’s 1st list of 47 candidates
The six MLAs – Aslam Shaikh (Malad West), Kashiram Pawara (Shirpur), DS Ahire (Sakri), Rahul Bondre (Chikhali), Siddharam Mehetre (Akkalkot), Bharat Bhalke (Pandharpur) – are likely to quit the party to join one of the ruling parties.Updated: Sep 28, 2019, 03:30 IST
Seven sitting MLAs are not likely to figure on the Congress’s first list of 47 candidates which is ready to be released soon.
The six MLAs – Aslam Shaikh (Malad West), Kashiram Pawara (Shirpur), DS Ahire (Sakri), Rahul Bondre (Chikhali), Siddharam Mehetre (Akkalkot), Bharat Bhalke (Pandharpur) – are likely to quit the party to join one of the ruling parties.
The seventh name is that of former chief minister and senior leader Prithviraj Chavan, as he is being considered as a candidate for the bypoll from the Satara Lok Sabha constituency.
The six legislators are reportedly in touch with the Bharatiya Janata Party or Shiv Sena. The party has decided to hold back their names to avoid embarrassment and send out a message to leaders thinking of desertion. “Some of the names may figure on the lists to be released later or may be dropped even if they stay in the party,” said a leader.
Of the 42 MLAs, six – Radhakrishna Vikhe-Patil (Shirdi), Kalidas Kolambkar (Wadala), Abdul Sattar (Sillod), Jaykumar Gore (Mann Khatav), Nirmala Gavit (Igatpuri) and Bhausaheb Kamble (Ahmednagar) – have resigned and joined the BJP or Shiv Sena. Kankavli MLA Nitesh Rane, too, is likely to resign in the next few days. This has reduced the party strength to 35.
At least 29 sitting MLAs are expected to be on the list. The remaining names are likely to be of former ministers and ex-MLAs, including Ashok Chavan, Suresh Warpudkar, Suresh Jethlia, PN Patil, Ramesh Bagve, DP Sawant and Kailash Gorantyal.
After the rounds of meetings of the central screening committee headed by Jyotiraditya Scindia and the central election committee headed by Sonia Gandhi, the party is considering fielding Chavan from Satara.
The party high command has reportedly conveyed the decision to him, saying the party has better chances to defeat
Udayanraje Bhosale, who recently joined the BJP after quitting the Nationalist Congress Party.