If alliance breaks, Raju Shetti dares to field Ravikant Tupkar against Sharad Pawar

Mumbai: Disappointed with the delay in taking decisions on forging an alliance with Mahagathbandhan (grand alliance) by the state level Congress and the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) leaders, Raju Shetti, leader of Swabhimani Shetkari Sanghatana (SSS) has set an ultimatum for the next three days to take a final call.

Shetti, who is also a Member of Parliament (MP) said that if Congress-NCP will not take the final decision till February 27, his party will field Ravikant Tupkar, state president of the party against NCP chief Sharad Pawar in Madha Lok Sabha seat. According to SSS insider, senior Pawar is serious to include Shetti’s SSS in grand alliance.

A meeting was held between three SSS leaders with NCP state president Jayant Patil, Opposition leader Dhananjay Munde and party legislator Jitendra Awhad in Mumbai on Sunday. “We have put our proposal to share two more seats apart from Hatkanangale before NCP leaders. Hatkanangale is our own seat and Shetti is our sitting MP.

So, we want Buldhana and Wardha seat from the alliance. The NCP seems positive to share Buldhana for us from their own share. However, Wardha is in quota of Congress, according to seat sharing formula. Hence, we have to speak with Ashok Chavan, state president of Congress,” said SSS insider.

Tupkar would be a SSS candidate from Buldhana, whereas, NCP has assured former minister Rajendra Shingne to contest from the same seat. In Wardha, Congress has plans to field Charulata Tokas in LS polls. SSS insider claimed, the party has a strong network in Buldhana Lok Sabha constituency and could win at least two assembly seats that come under Buldhana LS seat.

“If, we will not get the seat as per our demands, Tupkar would contest against senior Pawar. Even, if we will win the seat, we have enough strength to minimise the margin of Pawar,” said the party leader and claimed BJP may support us to aiming to defeat Pawar.” He added, SSS has called a rally in Madha on February 28 and NCP leaders pressurising us not to hold the rally as Pawar is their candidate in Madha seat.

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