January 30, 2009 2:52:03 am
Changing equations Khed MP taunts Pawar,says 2004 defeat still rankles
The NCP began its campaign for Shirur Lok Sabha constituency in Pune on Wednesday with party chief Sharad Pawar holding closed-door meeting with BJP MLA Baburao Pacharne. Shiv Sena MP Adhalrao Patil hit back a day later,saying the NCP is yet to get over its loss in the 2004 elections.
The Shiv Sena too is planning a public rally led by Uddhav Thackeray in the next fortnight.
Pacharne had been campaigning for me till last week,but his sudden switch of ranks indicates that the NCP has been forced to adopt all kind of strategies to regain the seat. The 2004 election results still seem to be haunting NCP bosses, Patil said on Thursday. Patil is the MP from Khed,now renamed Shirur after delimitation.
Patil said it appeared that the BJP MLA has made up mind to join the NCP. Pacharnes shifting sides will not affect my chances in the polls. The public wont forgive him; they will stand by me, he said.
He said he was not bothered who his opponent would be. I am campaigning for myself,approaching people and highlighting what I have done for them in the last five years, he said,adding that he has never challenged anyone,obliquely referring to statements attributed to him a day back when it was pointed out to Sharad Pawar that he had said no other NCP leader was worthy of contesting from Shirur.
NCP leaders are misguiding their party chief and trying to create an impression that I had challenged their leader, the Sena leader said.
However,the Sena is taking no chances. Party executive president Uddhav Thackeray will hold a rally on February 16 in Shikrapur village in Shirur constituency.
On Wednesday,the NCP chief had told reporters in Shirur he wished to enter Parliament through the Rajya Sabha,but speculation is rife he would eventually stand for the Lok Sabha polls to increase the partys strength in the lower house.
Along with Shirur,the two other potential destinations for Pawar,should he decide to contest,are Satara and Nasik.
The Satara constituency is considered safe for the NCP with the party having six MLAs and also controlling the zilla parishad.
In Nasik,it has a marginally lower strength with five MLAs and the zilla parishad again under its control.
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