As the last date for filing the nomination for the legislative council election is nearing, the Congress and Nationalist Congress Party are working hard to finalise the names of their candidates.
NCP has decided to contest two seats and the names of former minister Shashikant Shinde and Amol Mitkari are frontrunners for them. Shinde, a prominent Maratha and Mathadi workers leader, has a mass base in Satara district. In Navi Mumbai too, he has a mass base, as he is the leader of the Mathadi workers employed at the New Mumbai Agricultural Produce Marketing Committee (APMC). He had earlier worked as the state president of the party and is considered as a trusted person of the Pawar family. After getting elected to the legislative council, he may be appointed as the state president of the NCP. Currently, Rural Development Minister Jayant Patil is handling this responsibility.
Amol Mitkari, a well known orator on the history of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj, is very popular among the common man for his speeches. His speeches played an important role in channelising anger against the then Fadnavis government. He is being rewarded for this role.
Congress: Sawant or Joshi?
As it is still unclear that the Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) will fight the sixth seat out of the nine seats going for poll, Congress may be forced to contest only one seat. The party called for an application from their leaders with Rs 10,000 as a non-refundable deposit. It got more than 100 applications. State Congress President Balasaheb Thorat is pitching the name of Mohan Joshi, a party leader from Pune. Joshi was once very close to Suresh Kalmadi, former member of the parliament and Congress leader. Former CM Ashok Chavan is pushing for the names of Sachin Sawant and former minister of state DP Sawant. Apart from this, former state president and former deputy chairman of the legislative council Manikrao Thackeray is also strongly lobbying for his candidature.