Kalmadi gets enthusiastic welcome in Pune
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Last Updated: Saturday, February 04, 2012, 22:26
Pune: Suspended Congress leader and local MP Suresh Kalmadi was on Saturday given an enthusiastic welcome by his supporters when he arrived here this evening -- the first time after being released on bail in the Commonwealth Games scam case.

His arrival coincided with the last day of withdrawal of nominations for the civic elections, in which he could have played a major role for Congress with the clout he had within the party's city unit, but for the taint of CWG corruption allegations.

Maharashtra Congress chief Manikrao Thakre has, however, made it clear that the suspended leader would not be participating in the Congress campaign.

Kalmadi's supporters greeted him with slogans such as 'sabse bada khiladi, Suresh Kalmadi', as he travelled some distance in an open car from the airport, waving at the party workers. He later visited the government-run Sassoon Hospital to inquire about the injured victims of last month's ST driver-goes-berserk tragedy.

Pune BJP chief Vikas Matkari condemned the welcome accorded to Kalmadi, saying that it was against the "culture of the city" to greet a person facing serious charges of corruption.

NCP spokesman Ankush Kakde said Kalmadi's arrival would not impact the outcome of civic polls, and the people would take "right" decision while casting the vote.

Meanwhile, NCP president Sharad Pawar on Saturday urged the voters here to give a clear majority to his party in the Pune Municipal Corporation for a fast development of the city. At present, NCP-Congress alliance is ruling the civic body, with NCP as the single largest party, but the two parties are contesting the coming election independently.


First Published: Saturday, February 04, 2012, 22:26

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