Anyone but Kalmadi,rival faction tells state Congress chief

The factionalism in the city Congress unit has surfaced again.

Written by Express News Service | Pune | Published: February 11, 2009 3:35:01 am

After Joshi’s claim,two more contenders in the ring

The factionalism in the city Congress unit has surfaced again. A day after party leader and MLC Mohan Joshi staked claim to the Pune Lok Sabha seat,the faction opposing sitting MP Suresh Kalmadi met state Congress chief Manikrao Thakre and urged to him to field a new candidate for the seat.

The anti-Kalmadi faction leaders,including Joshi,MLA Balasaheb Shivarkar,state party spokesperson Ulhas Pawar and former MLA Sharad Ranpise,had a discussion on the Pune Lok Sabha seat in Mumbai.

“We have conveyed our opposition to Kalmadi to the state Congress chief while staking claim for the party candidature for Pune Lok Sabha seat,” Joshi said. He said that the leaders have urged their state unit chief to give the candidature to anyone of them,but not Kalmadi.

The claimants so far for the coveted Pune Lok Sabha seat that has been a traditional stronghold of the party include Kalmadi,Joshi,Shivarkar and the state Congress spokesperson Anant Gadgil.

Shivarkar did his own bidding,saying he has been a state minister for four-and-a-half-year,legislator for 10 years and a corporator for 15 years.

“The state Congress chief discussed the political situation in Pune and also heard our opposition to Kalmadi,” Joshi said.

The leaders said Congress leader Rajani Patil,who is in charge of party affairs for Pune,has publicly indicated that the ticket would go to Kalmadi. Patil had and is likely to be the Union minister in the next cabinet if the party forms the government.

“We asked the state party chief whether the party has given powers to Patil for announcing the candidature for the Pune seat,” Joshi said.

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