In a major setback to the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP), its candidate for the Legislative Council seat from local bodies constituency Osmanabad-Latur-Beed, Ramesh Karad, suddenly withdrew his nomination on Monday afternoon.
Karad, a close aide to BJP minister Pankaja Munde, had joined the NCP on May 2 and had filed his nomination papers from Osmanabad-Latur-Beed constituency. Dhananjay Munde, opposition leader in Legislative Council and NCP leader was instrumental in bringing Karad into the party. However, on Monday, Karad withdrew his nomination without citing any reason. Karad refused to divulge reasons for withdrawing his nomination and whether he plans to rejoin the BJP. “I will speak on it in a few days,” he said.
NCP leaders said winning the polls is important for the party. “Karad sought the candidature and then withdrew the nominations on his own. Was there a conspiracy from the beginning? I will not speak on it now but we will show on the day of the results,” said Dhananjay Munde, an NCP leader. Another NCP leader, Ashok Jagdale, has filed his nomination as an independent candidate. Sources in the NCP said Jagdale was keen to contest the council polls but was not fielded by the party. So he filed his nomination papers as independent candidate, said an NCP leader.
Election Commission of India has announced polls for Raigad-Ratnagiri-Sindhudurg, Nashik, Parbhani-Hingoli, Osmanabad-Latur-Beed, Amravati and the Wardha-Chandrapur-Gadchiroli seats to the Maharashtra Legislative Council. The polling will be on May 21 and the counting on May 24.