Kadam's candidature, announced on Tuesday night, ended the suspense surrounding the much-talked about possibility of renomination of Kalmadi or fielding his confidant in view of the two-decade long clout he wielded on city politics.
   
Reacting to his nomination, Kadam, son of Maharashtra Minister Patangrao Kadam, who has been for long aspiring for the post of Chief Minister, sounded confident about winning.
   
“I am sure of getting support of the voters as Pune is a traditional bastion of Congress. We will regain the people's confidence by working unitedly under the leadership of Sonia and Rahul Gandhi,” the 33-year-old said today.
   
While being a fresh face appears to be an advantage to Kadam, the disgruntled elements within the city Congress felt it would be difficult for party workers to garner support for him as he happens to be an “outsider”, hailing from adjoining Sangli district, lacking a rapport with the ranks here.
   
Kadam, who will be required to pull together the faction-ridden city unit where Kalmadi supporters have strong roots, nevertheless, is expected to get a wholehearted backing from Congress' coalition partner NCP, which had been at loggerheads with the multiple time MP.
   
The new nominee also happens to be the son-in-law of real estate baron Avinash Bhosale, who has a close association with NCP leadership and District Guardian Minister Ajit Pawar.
   
These equations would see NCP galvanising its local machinery to ensure Kadam's victory in keeping with the “coalition dharma”, which remained unpractised in the earlier elections.
   
In the past, the Kalmadi-led city unit had accused NCP of sabotaging winning prospects of Congress candidates.
   
While the main Opposition BJP was yet to announce its Lok Sabha candidate for Pune seat, Aam Aadmi Party and Raj Thackeray-led Maharashtra Navnirman Sena have fielded debutant Subhash Ware and Dipak Paigude, respectively.
   
Kalmadi (69), who represented the Pune Parliamentary seat for Congress for three terms, beginning 1996, prior to a long stint as its Rajya Sabha member, was not available for comment on the party's choice of Kadam.

(Agencies)

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