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Monday, October 25, 2021

Unease in Congress as high command picks ‘tainted leader’ to head Pimpri-Chinchwad unit

Kailas Kadam has faced murder, attempt-to-murder and extortion charges in the past. He has also been externed from Pimpri-Chinchwad a couple of times.

Written by Manoj Dattatrye More | Pune |
Updated: October 13, 2021 10:03:38 am
Notably, in 2017, no Congress candidate could win in the civic polls. The party had ruled PCMC for 15 years from 1986.

The appointment of Kailas Kadam as the president of the Pimpri-Chinchwad unit of the Congress has not gone down well in certain quarters of the grand old party. His detractors have, reportedly, told the party high command that Kadam’s ‘criminal background’ will sully the image of the organisation. Notably, several criminal cases are pending against Kadam in the Pune district.

Kadam has faced murder, attempt-to-murder and extortion charges in the past. He has also been externed from Pimpri-Chinchwad a couple of times.

Sources said that Kadam has been picked by Team Rahul, which was searching for “fiery and aggressive” leaders to take on rivals.

Prithviraj Sathe, the national secretary of the Congress, said, “Kadam has been acquitted in several criminal cases. Most cases registered against him were politically motivated.”

Sathe said the Congress leadership has picked Kadam after giving a proper thought and looking at his seniority in the party. “The party has picked him to revitalise the rank and file. We are in a bad shape in Pimpri-Chinchwad, and we needed a strong leader. Kadam fits the bill to head the local unit,” he added.

Asked about the opposition to Kadam’s appointment within the party, Sathe said at a press conference held in Akurdi on Tuesday: “Some of those who opposed Kadam’s appointment are present in this room. We will try to convince them about the need to back him in order to lift the party.”

Sachin Sathe, the state-level secretary of the Congress, said, “Kadam’s appointment has unnerved many leaders and office bearers in the party. They held a meeting and have decided to oppose his appointment. They have conveyed their sentiments to me and I will take up the matter with the party leadership.”

Sachin Sathe added, “Party leaders and office bearers have said that they cannot believe that the Congress appointed a man with a criminal background to lead the party in Pimpri-Chinchwad. They said that it will now be difficult for them to face the electorate in the upcoming civic elections.”

Sachin Sathe gave the press conference a miss.

At the press conference, Kadam evaded questions regarding his image. He, however, said that the party was behind him and it would perform better under him in the forthcoming polls.

Notably, in 2017, no Congress candidate could win in the civic polls. The party had ruled PCMC for 15 years from 1986. “I will unite the rank and file of the party and regain the lost glory of the Congress,” he said.

Kadam said BJP-ruled PCMC was neck-deep in corruption. “We will highlight the corruption in PCMC during the upcoming elections. We have many strong candidates to fight the civic elections and are confident of winning 20-25 seats,” he said.

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