Contrary to claims by the allies that they are working together, the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) has refused to support the campaign for Maharashtra Congress Minister Narayan Rane’s son Nilesh, who is facing a tough fight in Ratnagiri-Sindhudurg. MLA Deepak Kesarkar has defied the NCP diktat that he should work for Nilesh, who is seeking a second term. Locally, the NCP was the main rival of Mr. Narayan Rane, who was once with the Shiv Sena.

In Osmanabad, where the former Minister Padamsinh Patil is in the fray, the NCP is unsure of the support of Congress workers. For, locally, both parties have been contesting elections separately.

The Congress-NCP coordination committee has also received complaints of a rift between workers of the two parties in Palghar, Hingoli, Amravati and Bhiwandi.

In Kolhapur, the campaign got almost derailed thanks to a spat between Congress leader Satej Patil and NCP candidate Dhananjay Mahadik. The quarrel has since been resolved.

In Raigad, the former Chief Minister A.R. Antulay refused to support NCP candidate and Water Resources Minister Sunil Tatkare.

He was upset that the constituency, which used to be his pocket borough, was given over to the NCP by the Congress without his consent.

However, Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan, after meeting Mr. Antulay, claimed that he had agreed to support Mr. Tatkare.

In fact, Mr. Antulay’s son-in-law Mushtaq was present at the launch of Mr. Tatkare’s rally on Wednesday.


Congress and NCP gamble with MinistersApril 3, 2014