Having been spurned by the BJP that has sent him to the Rajya Sabha, MP Sanjay Kakade Monday had an unscheduled meeting with former deputy chief minister and NCP leader Ajit Pawar to seek his party’s support for his candidature for the Lok Sabha elections from Pune.
Kakade entered the Rajya Sabha with the support of the BJP, but is now keen to contest the Lok Sabha elections from the Pune seat, which is currently held by BJP’s Anil Shirole. The BJP is said to be reluctant to support his candidature despite the fact that Kakade is considered to have played a crucial role in the party’s win in the last elections for Pune Municipal Corporation.
Accordingly, Kakade, who only became an associate member of the BJP after entering the Rajya Sabha, has been talking to other parties for a ticket.
During his meeting with Pawar, he is said to have asked the support of the NCP for his candidature. “Kakade has made his intention to contest the Lok Sabha elections and he has sought the support of NCP for this. However, the NCP has decided to support the alliance candidate, whether it be from the NCP or the Congress,” Pawar said after the meeting.
Senior NCP leaders concede that the Pune seat should be left for the Congress which has always contested from the city. The other three Lok Sabha seats in the Pune districts are contested by the NCP.
Kakade said the NCP had considerable support base in Pune, and he would like the party to back him in the polls. “The NCP had got around three lakh votes during the PMC elections, and has a formidable base in the city. Thus, I have sought the party’s support for the Lok Sabha elections. Pawar has been a friend for the last two decades,” he said.