Congress candidate Vishwajeet Kadam is facing much heat from not only his contenders BJP and Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) rather his own party mate Suresh Kalmadi is also queering his poll pitch.

Kalmadi is the sitting MP from Pune and has won Parliamentary elections twice in 1996 and 2004. Kalmadi, who was jailed on the charges of corruption in ‘Common Wealth Games’ and now is suspended from the party, was not allowed to contest election from Pune constituency. When he put up the name of his wife for ticket, the Congress party defied it.

In his defense Kalmadi gave the logic that, if Ashok Chavan and Pawan Bansal were given tickets to contest elections, and the party could stitch pre-poll alliance with Lalu’s RJD, then why either he or his wife was deprived of contesting election.  

Rejecting Kalmadi’s plea, the Congress high-command fielded Indian youth congress state president Vishwajeet Kadam from Pune constituency.

Kalmadi initially was planning to contest as an independent candidate but later on dropped the plan and now has announced that he will be supporting Kadam. Though people who share camaraderie with Kalmadi say by helping Kadam win, he (Kalmadi) does not want to lose his Pune seat forever.

Second strong hurdle in Kadam’s way to victory is Sharad Pawar’s Nationalist Congress Party, as Baramati constituency in Pune district of Maharashtra is under influence of Pawar’s big political clout.

Another seat in Pune district which is creating problems for Kadam is the Maval from where NCP is contesting. In such situation to leave a seat for Congress has always been pinching NCP, which again indicates that it is not sure that whether the Congress will get full support of NCP.

Of all the problems Congress is facing in Pune, Kadam being an outsider is one more hitch which makes the party appear weaker in comparison to BJP and MNS, whose candidates Anil Sherole and Deepak Padukone are resident of the city.

Moreover in Pune the percentage of Brahmin voters is high and this sect on religious ground is traditionally attached with the BJP. And if this sect chooses to favor the BJP candidate, this again will add to the problems of Congress.

(JPN/Bureau)

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