Pune: After the denial of all the potential candidates, Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) is considering fielding Rahul Narvekar for the Maval Lok Sabha seat.
Narvekar has been in news for deserting Shiv Sena after he had to withdraw from the election to the legislative council.
Despite the fact that Pimpri-Chinchwad is the NCP bastion and the party has absolute majority in the twin township, the party is finding it difficult to find a candidate for the Maval Lok Sabha seat.
Few days ago, independent MLA Laxman Jagtap, the first choice for NCP, had decided contest the poll with the backing of Peasant's and Worker's Party (PWP) which has strategic understanding with Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS).
Narvekar on Sunday morning called on NCP president and Union Minister Sharad Pawar which led to spreading the speculations that Narvekar could join NCP. Sources said that the meeting was held in Mumbai in which deputy chief minister Ajit Pawar and senior leaders of Congress and NCP in Maval LS constituency were also present. Narvekar is son-in-law of former minister and NCP leader Ramraje Naik-Nimbalkar.
Sources in the PCMC unit and state NCP said that Narvekar's name is being considered for the candidature from Maval since all other potential candidates have refused the ticket.
After Jagtap, NCP tried to convince former mayor of PCMC Sanjog Waghere, former minister Madan Bafna, Ganesh Khandge and former mayor as well as NCP PCMC unit president Yogesh Bahl. But all of them refused to contest in Maval. Hence the party is considering fielding Rahul Narvekar who can garner votes from disgruntled faction from Shiv Sena.
Jagtap is a Congressman loyal to Sharad Pawar throughout his career. He became PCMC Corporator on Congress (S) ticket which Pawar led.
After Pawar came back to Congress party folds, Jagtap also returned back and was the standing committee chairman in PCMC in 1993. He became the mayor in 2002 and was made PCMC unit president in the same year. He contested as an independent candidate and became MLC in 2004. In 2009, when Chinchwad assembly seat went to Congress, Jagtap contested as a rebel independent candidate and defeated official Congress candidate Bhausaheb Bhoir to become the MLA in 2009.
The Maval scene
Shrirang Barane was with Congress throughout his career and joined Shiv Sena in 2009 after his defeat in assembly elections. Barane is Shiv Sena group leader in PCMC. Maruti Bhapkar, Aam Aadmi Party candidate is a well-known RTI activist and has led number of demonstrations protesting against special economic zones and pressing for the rights of the farmers. Bhapkar launched a novel agitation of not wearing footwear for seven years for pressing the demand of slum dwellers in Chinchwad who were fighting for their homes.