Mumbai: Sharad Pawar-led Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) today decided to field Suman Patil, widow of late R R Patil, for the Assembly by-election from Tasgoan seat scheduled for April 11. The candidature of Suman Patil was announced by senior NCP leader and former deputy CM Ajit Pawar at the constituency in western Maharashtra today, where the bypoll has been necessitated by the death of her husband, a former deputy chief minister, on February 16.

Pawar has appealed to all parties to refrain from contesting the seat as a mark of respect to Patil. A senior BJP leader had earlier told PTI that the party is unlikely to field its candidate if NCP put up a member from Patil’s family. Congress also is unlikely to field a candidate. The Maharashtra Pradesh Congress Committee president Ashok Chavan told PTI today that “there is an overwhelming opinion among party workers about the contribution of Patil during Congress-NCP alliance in Maharashtra.”

“Congress may not put up a candidate against someone from Patil’s family. However, the party leadership is considering the issue,” Chavan said. Swabhimani Shetkari Paksh leader Raju Shetty has also made it clear that his party would not contest the bypoll. Shiv Sena president Uddhav Thackeray had recently urged political parties not to field nominees either in Tasgaon or in Bandra East seat in Mumbai, where bypoll is being held on April 11.

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