Allegations of his involvement in the Adarsh scam notwithstanding, Congressmen from Nanded want former chief minister Ashok Chavan or his wife Ameeta to contest the Lok Sabha elections from the constituency.
Chavan had to resign as the chief minister in November 2010 after allegations of his involvement in the Adarsh controversy. He was replaced by incumbent Prithviraj Chavan.
Chavan loyalists point out that the Congress will need to accommodate Chavan, considering his influence over Nanded and neighbouring constituencies like Hingoli, where the party plans to field Rahul Gandhi’s confidant and Youth Congress chief Rajiv Satav.
Moreover, after the death of former chief minister Vilasrao Deshmukh who hailed from nearby Latur, Congress leaders say Chavan remains their strongest face in Marathwada, which accounts for eight of Maharashtra’s 48 Lok Sabha seats.
“He (Chavan) will be the strongest candidate in Nanded,” said a Chavan loyalist, claiming that if nominated, he would get among the highest victory margins in India.
“People feel injustice has been perpetrated on him. Hence, he may get the sympathy vote,” he claimed, adding that the Congress could nominate Chavan’s wife Ameeta in case it faces any issue with his nomination.
“This decision is to be taken by the party high command. I will not express any opinion on this issue,” Chavan told dna. “My position is that the Congress must win maximum seats in Maharashtra... I will work for the candidate nominated by the Congress.”