Chavan sounds poll bugle in Pune, accuses BJP for farmers’ woes
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Chavan sounds poll bugle in Pune, accuses BJP for farmers’ woes

The former chief minister said that there is unrest among the farmers in rural area and they went on strike at a large scale in the state for the first time in the history

pune Updated: Feb 09, 2019 15:38 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, Pune
Pune,Chavan,BJP
February 08, 2019: MP Ashok Chavhan, during Jansangharsh Yatra at Bhavani peth in Pune, India, on Friday, Februaryr 08, 2019.-(HT photo)

Congress party state unit president Ashok Chavan on Friday come down heavily on Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Modi government at a public rally organised at Bhavani Peth area. The local unit of the party had organised the public rally that was addressed by Chavan.

The former chief minister said that there is unrest among the farmers in rural area and they went on strike at a large scale in the state for the first time in the history. The protestors also carried out various morchas.

“Chief minister Devendra Fadnavis had given various promises to farmers, but now they feel cheated by the government as all the proposals have remained on paper. The central government announced smart city project, but what has happened to it? Now, the government has announced smart villages scheme,” Chavan said.

The Congress leader claimed that the countdown for the BJP government has started and people will take the right decision in the coming election. He said that Congress party will hold public rallies in various cities in the coming days and create an atmosphere in favour of the party.

Local leaders and city unit president Ramesh Bagwe were present at the public rally.

Congress shortlists three names, faces infighting

Congress president Rahul Gandhi’s move to streamline and broadbase the party with mission to stay united and focussed seems to failed to achieve the goal at Pune city party unit that is in the grip of infighting amid several aspirants eyeing ticket for the upcoming Lok Sabha ticket. Ashok Chavan, state Congress president, however, has maintained that the party will consider the candidate as per “elective merit”.

The former chief minister’s remarks came after some local leaders expressed disappointment over shortlisting of three names by the party. The committee entrusted with finalising the names this week shortlisted names of Mohan Joshi, member of legislative council; Abhay Chhajed, former Pune unit head, and Arvind Shinde, leader of party in Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) as probable candidates for the Lok Sabha polls.

Besides these names, former Congress legislator Balasaheb Shivarkar has also expressed keenness to fight the polls. Shivarkar also questioned the process of shortlisting the candidates after the list sent to the state unit did not find his name.

“I have worked for the party for almost five decades. While I am keen to contest the Lok Sabha polls, my name has been deliberately omitted from the list,” he said.

Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) associate member and Rajya Sabha MP Sanjay Kakade is also another aspirant for the Congress ticket after the BJP made it clear that he will not get a chance to fight polls from the party’s side

Speaking to reporters at Congress Bhavan on Friday, Chavan said that the party will consider elective merit while giving ticket in Pune.

“We will consider a candidate who has done good work and is acceptable to people of Pune,” said Chavan. On Shivarkar’s disappointment, Chavan acknowledged the former’s work for the party and said, “Shivarkar can talk to me directly.” The state unit chief, however, ducked the question about Kakade saying the Rajya Sabha MP is not associated with the party.

The state Congress chief also claimed that the Pune Lok Sabha seat will remain with the Congress party even as the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) has staked claim for it. “Pune has traditionally been a stronghold of Congress. It will remain with the party,” said Chavan.

Won’t allow NCP to join hands with MNS, AIMIM, says AshoK Chavan

Ashok Chavan, state Congress unit chief, on Friday said that the party is not in favour of joining hands with Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) and All India Majlis-e-Ittehad-ul Muslimeen (AIMIM). The former chief minister stated that it will also not allow Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) to strike an alliance with them for the upcoming Lok Sabha election.

Chavan was speaking to the media at Congress Bhavan after addressing a public rally in the city on Friday.

On an alliance with Prakash Ambedkar-led Bharipa Bahujan Mahasangh, Chavan said that he is in touch with the Dalit leader.

“I am in touch with Prakash Ambedkar and have invited him to join the alliance. Congress had given a proposal to Ambedkar and is expecting a positive response from him soon,” said Chavan, when asked about Ambedkar’s recent remarks about no tie-up with the Congress. Earlier this week, Ambedkar had said that since the Congress has not responded to his proposal of giving 12 seats to Bahujan Vanchit Aghadi — an alliance between Prakash Ambedkar-led Bharipa Bahujan Mahasangh and Asaduddin Owaisi-led All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen, the alliance of smaller parties has decided to contest all the 48 seats in the state.

Chavan also made it clear that the Congress is only interested in allying with Ambedkar’s party and will not entertain AIMIM at any cost. “We are opposed to NCP allying with MNS,” he said.

The state congress chief also reiterated that the Lok Sabha and assembly elections will be held together and announcement of the same will be made before the model code of conduct comes into effect in March. Chief minister Devendra Fadnavis, however, has clarified that Lok Sabha and state assembly polls will not be held together.

First Published: Feb 09, 2019 15:37 IST