Indian Express

Bapat or Shirole? BJP to decide candidate today

Having earlier promoted Pradeep Rawat, the RSS is now reportedly keen on Shirole. Tweet This
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Anil Shirole (Left); Girish Bapat Anil Shirole (Left); Girish Bapat

Even as the BJP was all set to play the Brahmin card for the Pune Lok Sabha seat and field MP Prakash Javadekar, the state and central parliamentary committee meetings  turned down the proposal, citing “elective merit”. The fight for the seat will now be between four-time MLA Girish Bapat and BJP city chief Anil Shirole and the party is likely to take a decision on Saturday.

With major differences cropping up between the factions in the party over the seat, the meeting saw prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi asking the RSS to intervene and offer an opinion. Having earlier promoted Pradeep Rawat, the RSS is now reportedly keen on Shirole.

“It is a known fact that Bapat is supported by (Nitin) Gadkari and Shirole by (Gopinath) Munde. The meeting had supporters pledging their backing for both of them and a decision could not be taken. Later, Modi turned to the RSS for an opinion. The RSS, peeved that their candidate former MP Pradeep Rawat was not considered, decided to back the another RSS activist, Anil Shirole.

However, a final decision will be taken on Saturday after another meeting,” said the party worker.
The state and central committee meeting will take place on Saturday in Delhi. Gadkari is expected to attend. While Gadkari is keen on promoting four-time MLA Girish Bapat, Munde, who has been strongly advocating the name of Anil Shirole has put up the argument that Shirole had elective merit and had lost to Pune MP Suresh Kalmadi by just 25,000 votes.

While both Bapat and Shirole have staked claim to the seat, the party fears that the strong factions would create a problem in the vote bank. “If either one is nominated, the other will be miffed,” said the member.

With MNS fielding Deepak Paigude, BJP will have tough competition, said sources. The Congress has not yet announced its candidate.

AAP to celebrate Holi tomorrow
The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) will celebrate Holi by organising a “symbolic destruction of corruption,” on Sunday, party sources said. “The party has organised a Holi celebration to fight against corruption,” said Tanmay Kanitkar of AAP. The celebrations will be organised at the riverbed near Baba Bhide bridge at 6 pm tomorrow and the party has appealed to citizens to join the event.

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