Kalmadi gets enthusiastic welcome in Pune

Suspended Congress leader and local MP Suresh Kalmadi was given an enthusiastic welcome by his supporters.

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

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

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

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.


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