The Congress on Tuesday finalised the name of Vishal Muttemwar, son of former MP Vilas Muttemwar from the Chandrapur Lok Sabha constituency, sources said.
Factionalism was again giving problems to the Congress for finding a suitable candidate for the constituency as two stalwarts from the region Naresh Pugalia, a former MP and Vijay Wadettiwar were both up in arms against each other. To field a candidate from either group, would have cost dear to the party. Hence it was inevitable to find a neutral candidate and thus Vishal’s name was finalised, the sources said.
It may be mentioned that Muttemwar family have the roots in Congress district as eight times MP Vilas Muttemwar, who represented Chimur constituency from the district for five times, hails from Chandrapur. Senior Muttemwar, a veteran Congress loyalist was a close aide of former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi and was Union Minister for Renewable Energy Resources.
In yet another development, name of Manikrao Thakre, former Maharashtra minister of state for home and former president of Maharashtra Pradesh Congress Committee (MPCC) is considered to be certain from Yavatmal-Washim Lok Sabha constituency. Here too, the Congress was facing problem of plenty with two stalwarts staking claims for the ticket Shivajirao Moghe, former Maharashtra Minister for Transport and Guardian Minister of Yavatmal district and another former minister Vasant Purke.
However, after discussing the issue in detail, the Congress high command in New Delhi is learnt to have finalised Thakre’s name from Yavatmal.
Sources in New Delhi said, the party was facing a tough time to field a candidate for Amravati Lok Sabha constituency against sitting Shiv Sena MP Anandrao Adsul. Ravi Rana, an Independent MLA, who has already declared name of his wife Navneet Rana’s from the constituency, has tussle with Adsul as the latter has challenged Rana’s caste validity of belonging to a Scheduled Caste legally.
Names of Mukul Wasnik and Sanjay Khodke were making rounds. However, till filing of this report, the party could not arrive at any decision. Sources said, if there is no consensus on a candidate from Amravati, the party has made up its mind to support Ms Rana from outside. In this backdrop, it seems the election in Vidarbha would be interesting.
On the other hand, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), which was expected to declare its first list of candidates on Sunday, has not come out with it. With some leaders believe the Goa crisis one of the reasons for the delay. It is believed the party would soon release the first list featuring names of some of the stalwarts including that of Union Minister for Road Transport Nitin Gadkari from Nagpur.