Kalmadi has almost announced fighting Lok Sabha elections from the Pune seat as an Independent candidate, and perhaps that is why Congress leaders are trying hard to placate him.

Kalmadi has been the Congress face in Pune for the last one and a half decade. He was elected to Lok Sabha from Pune for the first time in 1996 when Congress’ condition in the state was pitiable. He was elected to the Lower House of Parliament again in 2004 and 2009.

After his name cropped up in the Commonwealth Games scam, he was not only suspended by Congress but also had to spend a considerable time behind the bars. Now, the party has also denied him a ticket from Pune for the LS elections.

Sensing the situation, Kalmadi had been lobbying for party ticket to his close confidante. But party decided to field Maharashtra Yuva Congress president Vishwajeet Kadam from Pune. Kadam is the son of senior minister Patangrao Kadam.

Congress is aware of the repercussions of denying ticket to a stalwart like Kalmadi, who still enjoys massive support in Pune. In 1998 too, the party had fielded Vitthalrao Tupe in place of Kalmadi. Independent candidate Kalmadi came second by garnering over 3.5 lakh votes.


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