MUMBAI: Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) supremo Sharad Pawar may contest the upcoming by-election from the Satara Lok Sabha seat, party sources said on Wednesday. It may be noted that the NCP patron had in the past indicated that he won't contest any elections in future citing health reasons.
Satara Lok Sabha is currently represented by Udayanraje Bhosale, the former Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) MP who recently joined the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).
Bhosale had earlier said that he would refrain from contesting the Satara Lok Sabha by-election if Sharad Pawar, who is like a father-figure for him, stood against him.
Interestingly, Bhosale was only one of the four elected NCP MPs in the 2014 general elections. Despite deserting his party, the Satara MP had said that he still has great respect for NCP chief and would not fill the nomination form if Pawar was fielded against him.
“He was, is and will forever remain a respected and much-beloved leader … I think of my father and then I think of Pawar,” Bhosale had said in an emotional response when asked how he felt about Pawar taking jibes at his entry in the BJP.
The Election Commission of India (ECI) had on Tuesday announced that the by-election to the Satara Lok Sabha constituency, necessitated by Bhosale’s resignation, will be held on October 21, the same day as the Assembly polls. The votes will be counted on October 24.
Bhosale’s defection to the BJP is expected to bolster the saffron party’s standing with the Maratha community besides dealing another jolt to the beleaguered NCP in western Maharashtra.
Since then, the NCP has been scrambling to find a strong candidate against Bhosale, who won his third consecutive Lok Sabha election in April.