In a blow to the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) in Pimpri-Chinchwad ahead of the Lok Sabha elections, a senior local leader Azam Pansare has left the party expressing displeasure over its top leadership. Pansare has announced that he would join the Congress.
Pansare’s decision has come in the wake of NCP reportedly zeroing in on MLA Laxman Jagtap as its likely candidate from Maval Lok Sabha constituency.
In the 2009 Lok Sabha elections, Pansare had contested from Maval on an NCP ticket and lost to Shiv Sena’s Gajanan Babar.
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Supporters of Pansare allege that Jagtap had a role to play in their leader’s defeat as he had acted against the interests of the party. In 2009 Assembly elections, Jagtap contested elections as an Independent candidate against Congress’s Bhausaheb Bhoir despite Congress-NCP alliance.
“NCP leadership is rewarding rebel elements in the party and it is painful for loyalists such as me,” Pansare said in a hurriedly-convened press meet on Friday.
According to sources, Congress is likely to offer Pansare some key post, such as membership of the Legislative Assembly or chairmanship of Pimpri Chinchwad New Town Development Authority.
In the past, Pansare had submitted his resignation as NCP Pimpri Chinchwad unit chief after a fallout over the selection of the party candidate to head the civic body’s standing committee. After that, he was appointed president of the consumer welfare advisory committee by the state government.