Mumbai: The sudden withdrawal by Nationalist Congress Party’s (NCP) official candidate Ramesh Karad from the Legislative Council polls putting NCP leader Dhananjay Munde in a fix is seen as a tactic played by Dhananjay Munde’s cousin sister and Maharashtra minister Pankaja Munde.
This has become the talking point in the political spheres in the state as Ramesh Karad had just a few days ago switched sides from BJP to NCP and got the nomination for the council poll from NCP. It has now transpired that this was a ploy by Pankaja Munde who planted this person in the NCP and then suddenly made him withdraw last minute before the official contest. Now NCP is left with ‘no official candidate’ in this election!
Maharashtra Rural Development Minister Pankaja Munde’s close supporter Ramesh Karad switched sides just to join the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) last Wednesday and filed his nomination as NCP’s candidate for the biennial elections to the Legislative Council from six local bodies’ constituencies on May 21. This defection was originally believed to be engineered by NCP leader Dhananjay Munde to give a jolt to Pankaja Munde.
Karad is an influential leader from Latur district and very loyal to BJP leader late Gopinath Munde. Gopinath Munde brought him to the BJP. After his untimely death in 2014, Karad was refused a ticket in 2014 by BJP and he moved away from Pankaja. A week ago Karad joined NCP and this was seen as a jolt to Pankaja. But on Monday Karad suddenly withdrew his nomination, leaving the NCP high and dry without a candidate in the race.
Karad’s withdrawal is seen as Pankaja scoring a goal over cousin brother Dhananjay Munde. Immediately after Karad’s withdrawal Dhananjay Munde extended his support to Ashok Jagdale an independent candidate for Beed-Osmanabad-Latur constituency.
Now, it’s big challenge for Dhananjay Munde to get Ashok Jagdale elected. Munde said they are searching to find out who is behind it. “We have enough numbers of council members to elect our candidate and the real shock will be after the election,” he said. Biennial elections will be held for the Raigad-Ratnagiri-Sindhudurg, Nashik, Wardha-Chandrapur-Gadchiroli, Parbhani-Hingoli, Amravati and Osmanabad-Latur-Beed seats on May 21.