Extending support to Congress candidate for Pune Lok Sabha seat Vishwajeet Kadam, sitting MP Suresh Kalmadi on Tuesday expressed confidence in his ability to carry forward the development of city “started” by him. He said he has always endeavoured to keep Pune’s name high.
The Congress had suspended Kalmadi after his arrest in alleged corruption case in organising Commonwealth Games. He made desperate efforts to get a ticket for him or his wife Meera for the constituency he represented thrice in the Lok Sabha. However, the party rejected his request and instead gave the ticket to Maharashtra Youth Congress chief, who is the son of senior state Congress leader Patangrao Kadam.
Upset over being ignored by the party, Kalmadi had said injustice had been done to him considering that the Congress has given tickets to leaders facing corruption allegations, and also tied up with the party of Lalu Prasad in Bihar despite the court convicting him in a corruption case.
“I am announcing my unconditional support to the young candidate from the Congress for Pune Lok Sabha constituency and appeal to all to make him victorious,” said Kalmadi in a press statement. The sitting MP claimed that he took the stand in the best interests of the development of city and based on consultations with his supporters from the political and social field. “I have an emotional attachment with Pune. I have always strived to keep its name high. I am indebted to Puneites and will remain available to them in future,” he said.
“I was the only MP in the country to have brought such huge amount of funds for the city’s development. I am satisfied that this provided an impetus to Pune’s development. I was also successful in getting the ambitious Metro rail project for the city to ease the traffic problem,” Kalmadi said, adding that Kadam would maintain the speed of development of the city by getting more funds from the Union government and also emphasise on strengthening religious harmony in the city.
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Congress spokesperson Ramesh Iyer said, “We welcome the support extended by Kalmadi to the Congress candidate.”
To ensure that Kalmadi does not pose any problem to him, Kadam had met the sitting MP, who still has a role in city politics. State ministers Patangrao Kadam and Harshvardhan Patil had also met Kalmadi separately.