Anna aide withdraws from fray as NCP nominee

The sarpanch of Ralegan Siddhi, Jaisingh Mapari, who was to contest the Zilla Parishad election on a NCP ticket withdrew his candidature.

Mumbai: The sarpanch of Anna Hazare`s native
village Ralegan Siddhi, Jaisingh Mapari, who was to contest
the Zilla Parishad election on a Nationalist Congress Party
(NCP) ticket, today withdrew his candidature.

"Anna is unwell and at this stage his health and not
election is the priority. That is why I withdrew my
nomination," Mapari told PTI over phone.

The elections for Zilla Parishad are scheduled for
February 7.

"The villagers were feeling disappointed with the fact
that there was a poll campaign underway when Anna was not
keeping good health," Mapari, who had filed nomination papers
on January 21, said adding "One can fight elections anytime,
but Anna`s health is more important,".

A source close to Hazare, however, said the likelihood
of Mapari being `deserted` by the local NCP leadership also
contributed to his withdrawing from the fray.

Incidentally, Hazare had last week attended the wedding
of Mapari`s daughter.
News of NCP offering ticket to Mapari for ZP elections
had raised eyebrows as Hazare, time and again spoken against
NCP president Sharad Pawar for "shielding corrupt ministers".
He had also opposed Pawar`s inclusion in the panel of civil
society members and government representatives to prepare a
draft of the Lokpal bill after his fast in April last year.
His remarks after an attack on Pawar in Delhi had created a
controversy as well.

Mapari had aspired to contest the election from the
Wade-Ghavan group (the ZP constituency under open category)
which falls in Parner taluka of Ahmednagar district.

"During my meeting with Anna, I took his blessings.
Though I aspired to contest the election on an NCP ticket, I
will always follow Anna`s principles of social service," he
had said earlier this month.
Mapari had also said that he would remain active in
Hazare`s anti-corruption fight and his plans to contest the
election would not hamper his fight against corruption. PTI VT
Section 144 imposed at Rajdhanwar in Giridih

Giridih (Jharkhand), Jan 30 (PTI) Prohibitory orders
under section 144 CrPC were today imposed at Rajdhanwar in
Giridih district after two groups clashed during immersion of
Saraswati idol, the police said here.

Prohibitory orders under section144 imposed in
Rajdhanwar where two groups clashed last night. The situation
is under control, Superintendent of Police A V Homker said.
He said there was no report of any injury during the

Several shops remained closed following the incident.