Lok Sabha bypoll: ex-Sikkim governor pitted against NCP’s royal turncoat

first_imgSenior Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) leader and ex-Sikkim Governor Shriniwas Patil will take on ex-NCP MP and the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party’s candidate, Udayanraje Bhosale, in the Satara Lok Sabha bypoll to be held along with the Assembly elections in Maharashtra on October 21.Mr. Patil, a former IAS officer and a close associate of NCP chief Sharad Pawar, staged a show of strength in Satara after filing his nomination on Thursday.Mr. Pawar had earlier urged senior Congressman Prithviraj Chavan to contest the by-election. However, Mr. Chavan, the sitting MLA of Karad South (in Satara) had declined, preferring instead to focus on the Assembly elections.Mr. Patil has been elected MP twice, in 1999 and 2004, from the erstwhile Karad Lok Sabha constituency in Satara before its delimitation ahead of the 2009 polls.Political equations have changed overnight in Satara, which was completely dominated by the NCP before this year’s Lok Sabha polls after the defections of both royals — Shivendrasinh Bhosale, the former NCP MLA from Satara and Udayanraje Bhosale, the ex-NCP MP from Satara Lok Sabha constituency — to the ruling BJP.The NCP currently holds three of the six Assembly segments in Satara — Koregaon (Shashikant Shinde), Wai (Makarand Patil) and Karad North (Balasaheb Patil) — while Mr. Chavan holds the Karad South seat, the sole Congress borough in the district.Mr. Chavan, a former Maharashtra Chief Minister, too filed his nomination on Thursday, accompanied by Mr. Patil and other supporters. He is pitted against the BJP’s Atul Bhosale, who staged a spectacular show of strength in Karad before filing his nomination.“Our aim is to weed out the BJP’s socially divisive policies. Karad has been the wellspring of progressive thought. I am confident that the people here will reject the regressive ideology of the current government in the upcoming elections,” Mr. Chavan said.last_img read more