Sharad Pawars announcement of contesting the Madha seat rather than Shirur has come as a relief for Shiv Sena leader Shivajirao Adhalrao-Patil,who is eyeing Shirur himself.
Adhalrao-Patil,now MP from Khed,is relieved that the NCP chief had not chosen Shirur,carved out after delimitation from Khed and Baramati
I was preparing for a contest with anyone,irrespective of the stature of the opponent. However,the decision of the NCP chief to opt for Madha will definitely ease things for me, Adhalrao-Patil told The Indian Express.
Adhalrao-Patil said he had carried out a lot of development work in Khed and had launched his campaign well in advance without thinking of who the opponent would be. It is clear that the NCP chief is not going to contest from Shirur, he said. The winning margin for me will increase,but I will continue to campaign with the same energy.
On the probable reasons of Pawar choosing Madha rather than Shirur,Adhalrao-Patil said,He may have realised that the contest would not be easy in Shirur.
Speculation had been rife over Pawar contesting from Shirur and this had caused anxiety in the Sena camp. The NCP had organised a few public rallies to gauge the political situation and was even able to rope in BJP MLA Baburao Pacharne,a close associate of Adhalrao-Patil.
While there were talks about Pawar contesting from Shirur,the Sena leader intensified his campaign. He organised a farmers rally in Shikrapur village and Sena executive president Uddhav Thackeray addressed it.
NCP district chief Valabh Benke,however,said the Sena leader should not get excited and harbour the wrong impression that his path to the Lok Sabha was clear.
He said Pawars decision to contest from Madha had disappointed the partys district unit. It seems he opted for Madha as it was not proper for both him and his daughter Supriya Sule to contest from the same district, Benke said.
The NCP district unit will conduct interviews of probable candidates for Shirur on Monday. There are four aspirants Vilas Lande,Popatrao Gawade,Suryakant Palande and Prakash Mhaske. All will be interviewed, said Benke.