Leaders of the NCP and the Congress, including NCP president and Union Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar, are going all out to urge the local leaders of both the parties to work jointly and ensure victory of the alliance candidates in Pune district.
A day after deputy chief minister Ajit Pawar convened a meeting of leaders of both the parties at Congress Bhavan, NCP chief Sharad Pawar addressed party leaders and sent out a message that they would have to work together to ensure the alliance candidates are elected.
“I decided to address the leaders of Congress and NCP to ensure that the election campaign starts on the right track. This is necessary to get all the alliance candidates win the Lok Sabha elections,” Pawar said at the rally.
The alliance has given ticket to young candidates, he said, stressing that the idea is to create a new generation of able leaderss. “We were also brought into politics in the same way by Congress leader Yashwantrao Chavan,” he said.
The NCP chief said talk that the Congress candidate Vishwajeet Kadam was an outsider should stop. “Mohan Dharia, S M Joshi, Vithalrao Gadgil to Suresh Kalmadi were elected to the Lok Sabha from Pune. Their native place was not Pune but they belonged to the city,” he added.
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The rally was also addressed by State Forest Minister Patangrao Kadam, who said he began his work in the education sector from Pune.
Meanwhile, in a bid to project an image of ‘unity’, the campaign trail of the Congress candidate from Pune Vishwajeet Kadam will start from Bhavani Mata temple located in the Pune Cantonment Assembly constituency Sunday. The constituency is a stronghold of Congress and is represented by Ramesh Bagawe, who is considered a staunch supporter of Suresh Kalmadi.
Addressing the media on Saturday, city Congress unit president Abhay Chhajed said Kadam’s campaign trail would include padyatras from the Bhavani Mata temple and from Parvati area in the evening. “All senior leaders of Congress, and NCP will participate in the padyatras,” he said.
The decision to field Kadam had upset many in the city Congress as many of the corporators and office-bearers are reportedly close to Kalmadi. Kalmadi’s arrival in Pune from the national capital had seen many of his supporters thronging to the airport. He had also held meetings with his supporters at his home.
Chhajed said the party was upbeat about its chances in the elections.
Kadam is scheduled to file his nomination papers on March 26, and that day the first public rally for the Congress candidate would be held which would see the presence of Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan and Union Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar.