CPI(M) stares at friendly fights in 3 seats

Congress, NCP will also contest Solapur Central, Nashik West, Kalvan

Despite being part of the Opposition alliance in Maharashtra and having announced four candidates, the Communist Party of India (Marxist) is likely to face a friendly fight in three out of four seats, raising concerns within the party.

The CPI (M) on Monday announced four candidates: former MLA Narsayya Adam from Solapur Central, trade union leader Dr. D.L. Karad from Nashik West, sitting MLA J.P. Gavit from Kalvan (ST) in Nashik district and tribal leader Vinod Nikole from Dahanu (ST). Out of the four seats, the Congress and the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) will contest three, and the Left party is forced to indulge in a friendly fight in those seats.

Former chief minister Sushilkumar Shinde’s daughter, Praniti, is a candidate and sitting MLA from the Solapur seat, while the NCP leadership has expressed its inability to give up both the seats in Nashik district. Nashik West is held by the Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) Seema Hire, where the NCP is likely to announce the candidature of Apurva Hire. At Kalvan too, the NCP is set to announce its candidate.

Dahanu: CPI(M) bastion

Dahanu, held by the BJP’s Pascal Dhanare, is the only seat where the Opposition is united in supporting the CPI(M) candidate. On Tuesday, Mr. Nikole filed his nomination in Dahanu in the presence of senior leaders of the Congress, the NCP, the Bahujan Vikas Aghadi and the Kashtkari Sanghatana. “Dahanu is our bastion. Even though we lost in 2014, we are confident that we will win the seat this time. The voting pattern of the 2019 Lok Sabha polls gives us a clear edge as compared to the BJP,” said the party’s central committee member, Ashok Dhavale.

Mr. Dhavale said the Opposition is set to meet for the final time on Wednesday to decide on the Nashik West seat. “We were promised that this seat will be left for us and no other Opposition member would fight. We are hearing that Apurva Hire is going to be the NCP candidate from that seat. We do not think it is fair, and will be discussing this issue tomorrow,” he said.

Meanwhile, the Prakash Ambedkar-led Vanchit Bahujan Aghadi has extended its support to the CPI (M)’s Nashik West candidate Dr. D.L. Karad. “I welcome the support extended to me by Prakash Ambedkar. My aim is to defeat the BJP and the Sena in my constituency. This support will certainly strengthen my battle against these forces,” said Dr. Karad. He said he would wait for the meeting to be over before commenting on the possibility of a friendly fight with the NCP candidate.

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Printable version | Feb 18, 2020 2:50:28 PM |

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