Mumbai: The Republican Left Democratic Front (RLDF) on Sunday announced its support to the candidature of Kalawati Bandurkar, the widow of a farmer in Vidarbha, who has decided to contest the election from Wani assembly constituency in Yavatmal.
RLDF leaders who met her today to discuss their election strategy and list of candidates endorsed the decision of Peasants and Workers Party leader Jayant Patil`s stand that the Front should support Kalawati because she symbolises the grievances of the farmers` kith and kin.
Kalawati had shot to fame after Congress general secretary Rahul Gandhi mentioned her name in his speech in Lok Sabha to highlight the plight of farmers in Vidarbha.
Addressing a press conference here today, RPI leader Ramdas Athawale and Jayant Patil accused the Congress of making false promises to the farmers.
They said Rahul Gandhi met Kalawati at her home during
his tour of Vidharba and had brought her into national and
international focus with his speech in the Lok Sabha.
But when she went to Delhi to meet Rahul and get the help
that was promised to her, she was turned away. This shows
what the Congress stands for.
Patil said he would give Kalawati Rs five lakh to fund
her election campaign.
"During my tenure as the director of the Maharashtra
State Cooperative Bank, I have seen Congress and NCP leaders
misusing funds given by the central government under the
farmers fund," Patil said.
Athawale said he would ensure Kalawati`s victory so that
she can highlight farmers` woes in the state assembly
Both the leaders said that the constituency has been
allotted to the CPI in the seat sharing agreement between the
"However, it has been decided that all of us will request
CPI to give up the seat so that we can support Kalawati," they