NCP to back Raju Shetty in Hatkanangle

First list of candidates announced; MNS tie-up unlikely

The Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) on Thursday announced candidates for 11 Lok Sabha constituencies including one in Lakshadweep.

Among those in the list are Sunil Tatkare for Raigad, NCP chief Sharad Pawar’s daughter Supriya Sule for pocket borough Baramati, Udayanraje Bhosle for Satara, Dhananjay Mahadik for Kolhapur, Rajendra Shingane for Buldhana, Gulabrao Devkar for Jalgaon, Rajesh Vitekar for Parbhani, Sanjay Dina Patil for Mumbai North East, Anand Paranjape for Thane, Babaji Patil for Kalyan and Mohammad Faisal for Lakshdweep.

Out of these, Baramati, Satara, Kolhapur and Lakshadweep are currently held by the NCP.

In Hatkanangle, the party has extended support to Swabhimani Shetkari Sanghatana’s incumbent MP Raju Shetty.

The party has not however announced the name of Parth Pawar, son of senior party leader Ajit Pawar, who is to be pitted from Maval constituency. Mr. Pawar’s candidature was unclear as NCP chief Sharad Pawar had earlier announced to contest from Madha but later canceled it and announced that his nephew’s son Parth could be the candidate from Maval.

“We will be announcing the second list in a day or two. No one should draw contrary conclusion from today’s list,” said NCP’s State unit president Jayant Patil.

When asked about the Swabhimani Shetkari Sanghatana’s demand for the Buldhana seat, Mr Patil said the NCP has decided to support the party in Hatkanangle. "We have given them the seat from our quota. They were asking one from the Congress. Our talks are yet not over and we will try to take them with us,” he said.

The NCP has also announced candidates on Kalyan and Mumbai North East, both of which were said to be given to Raj Thackeray’s led Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS). The announcement of candidates on Thursday confirms that the MNS will not be the part of the Congress and NCP alliance in Maharashtra. “We had never said the seats will be given to the MNS,” said Mr Patil.

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