NCP’s 1st list for Maharashtra assembly polls out: Will it be Dhananjay vs Pankaja again?
Pawar has fielded senior NCP leader and leader of Opposition in council Dhananjay Munde from Parli Assembly constituency. Besides, Pawar declared the candidature of Sandeep Kshirsagar from Beed, Namita Mundada from Kaij, Prakash Solanke from Majalgaon and Vijaysinh Pandit from Georai. All candidates have political lineage.Updated: Sep 19, 2019 06:16 IST
Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) chief Sharad Pawar on Wednesday announced names of five candidates who will contest the Assembly elections from Marathwada, two days after it announced that the party would contest equal number of seats (125) with the Congress.
Pawar has fielded senior NCP leader and leader of Opposition in council Dhananjay Munde from Parli Assembly constituency. Besides, Pawar declared the candidature of Sandeep Kshirsagar from Beed, Namita Mundada from Kaij, Prakash Solanke from Majalgaon and Vijaysinh Pandit from Georai. All candidates have political lineage.
Marathwada is likely to witness two family feuds. In Parli, Dhananjay may take on his cousin and BJP minister Pankaja, and in Beed, Sandeep is likely to fight against his uncle and two-time MLA Jaydutt Kshirsagar, who recently left the NCP to join the Shiv Sena.
In the last Assembly polls, Pankaja defeated Dhananjay with a margin of over 25,000 votes. In 2013, Dhananjay left the BJP, alleging his uncle and former deputy chief minister Gopinath Munde sidelined him. He joined the NCP, and the feud has been going on since then. Dhananjay is the son of Gopinath Munde’s elder brother Pandit Anna Munde. Pankaja is Gopinath Munde’s daughter.
Similarly, Kshirsagar left the party in May over more importance being given to his local rival, Dhananjay Munde. Soon after his defection, Kshirsagar was made the employment guarantee minister. He was also unhappy with the patronage Sandeep got from senior NCP leaders. Sandeep is the son of Kshirsagar’s elder brother Ravindra. This is their first face-off.
Namita Mundada is the daughter-in-law of former NCP minister Vimal Mundada and Vijaysinh Pandit is the younger brother of party legislator Amarsinh Pandit. Prakash Solanke is a former minister of state who lost the polls in 2014.
The candidate selection shows the veteran leader is carefully picking nominees who can put up strong fight, at a time when several leaders and legislators of the NCP have crossed over to the ruling parties.
Pawar is on statewide tour, where he is meeting leaders and office-bearers of the party to boost the morale of the cadre and decide names of candidates. On Wednesday, he was in Beed district of Marathwada, where he also addressed party workers. “This time, we have decided to give opportunity to new faces. We want to create a new Maharashtra by handing it over to the next generation” Pawar said.
First Published: Sep 19, 2019 00:16 IST