Eyebrows were raised in political circles after rebel Congress MLA Abdul Sattar met Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis and Water Resources Minister Girish Mahajan late Saturday. Earlier in the day, rebelling against the Congress, he had announced his intention of contesting the Aurangabad Lok Sabha poll against Shiv Sena’s sitting MP Chandrakant Khaire as an independent candidate.
The election season is here. Netas are running hither and dither to further their political interests. But the case of Subhash Wankhede is an absolute classic. On Sunday, the Congress named Wankhede, a former MP, as its contestant for the Hingoli seat. This raised several eyebrows since in 2014, Wankhede, then the sitting MP, was the Shiv Sena’s candidate against Congress’s Rajeev Satav, who won. Satav was not keen to contest this time. So the Congress just got the former opponent to jump out of the Shiv Sena ship to board its own. No wonder they say, politics is the art of the impossible.
The Congress is keen to field a Maratha strongman from Pune. Since Sushil Kumar Shinde, who hails from the Dalit community, has been fielded by the party from Solapur, the only other seat it is contesting in Western Maharashtra, the Congress wants to get the social combination right. According to sources, the party recently even asked former Maharashtra minister Harshwardhan Patil, who is a sworn political rival of NCP’s Ajit Pawar, to consider entering the fray. Aware that the Pawars will have a role to play in the election, sources said that Patil declined the offer. Incidentally, the offer from the Congress comes at a time when there have been reports of the BJP reaching out to Patil.
Feather In The Cap
If sources are to be believed, the World Bank has invited Slum Rehabilitation Authority’s Chief Executive Officer Deepak Kapoor, who belongs to the 1991 batch of IAS officers, for a presentation on e-governance initiatives undertaken by the Authority at the 20th Annual World Bank Conference on Land and Poverty in Washington DC from March 25 to March 29. Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis has named Milind Mhaiskar as the acting SRA chief in Kapoor’s absence.