Updated: March 22, 2022 10:38:14 pm
NCP leader Nitin Deshmukh on Tuesday said that Shiv Sena’s Maval MP Shrirang Barne should give up his seat in favour of Parth Pawar, son of NCP leader and Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar, drawing a sharp retort from the Sena leader and creating a flutter in the state’s rulling MVA alliance of which the Sena and the NCP are constituents.
In a facebook post, Deshmukh, working president, Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) State Youth wing, said Barne has already been a two-term Parliamentarian, adding he should be made a Rajya Sabha MP so that Parth Pawar gets an opportunity to become the next Member of Parliament.
When contacted, Deshmukh said, “I am voicing the views of the workers and leaders of NCP’s Youth Wing. We feel Parth should be given an opportunity to become the MP in the next Lok Sabha elections, which are two years away.”
He added, “Barne has been given two terms in Lok Sabha. He can still continue as an MP after being nominated in Rajya Sabha. Parth is a youth leader and should get an opportunity to prove his mettle.”
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Barne, for his part, said, “By making such a demand, they are only trying to damage the Shiv Sena’s image and we will not let this happen. Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray is a man with a lot of patience…And he steers clear of any unnecessary controversy. But this should not be taken as our weakness.”
Barne said there was no use discussing the Maval seat anyway as Lok Sabha elections were still two years away.
Barne has been elected twice from Maval seat on a Shiv Sena ticket. On both occasions, the Sena was in alliance with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). Barne has won the seat with huge margins of over 1.50 lakh votes in 2014 and over two lakh votes in 2019. Barne had defeated Parth in his maiden attempt to make it to Lok Sabha.
After his defeat, Parth has been active in Maval constituency. He has been heading the party in Pimpri-Chinchwad, which is part of Maval constituency, and is often seen at party meetings and functions. People close to Parth said he is gearing up to contest the next Lok Sabha elections. “We are preparing the ground for him. Last time, the Shiv Sena was with the BJP. This time if Parth contests, the Sena will be with NCP as they are part of the MVA government. Maval seat has always been a stronghold of the Shiv Sena,” an NCP leader said.
Despite repeated attempts, Parth was not available for comment.
The NCP’s demand comes close on the heels of the remarks made by Sena MP Gajanan Kirtikar that the MVA government headed by Uddhav Thackeray was actually a “Pawar sarkar” and not “Thackeray sarkar”.
“NCP is gaining more in the alliance…,” Kirtikar said in Ratnagiri.
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