Mumbai: Cracks in Congress, NCP

Mumbai: The Congress and the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) alliance has developed cracks and both parties have fielded candidates on two seats.

In Pandharpur, sitting Congress legislator Bharat Bhalke joined the NCP last week. He was announced as the NCP candidate from Pandharpur in Solapur district two days ago but in the list of candidates announced by the Congress on Wednesday, Shivajirao Kalunge’s was nominated from Pandharpur.

The same happened with Aheri, a reserved seat for Scheduled Tribes, in Gadchiroli district. The Congress announced the candidature of Deepak Atram and the NCP nominated Dharmarao Baba Atram.

Dharmarao Atram is from a royal family, was a legislator from Aheri till 2009 and was also Minister of State in the government. He was defeated by Deepak Atram, an independent candidate then in 2009. In 2014, both Deepak and Dharmarao Atram contested, but lost to Ambarish Raje Atram of BJP.

Deepak Atram this time has joined Congress but in the 2014 polls, Dharmarao had garnered more votes than Deepak Atram. There is anti-incumbency against sitting legislator Ambarish Raje Atram.

Will withdraw candidate: Congress and NCP claimed that this might have happened due to some confusion. "We will ensure withdrawal of one candidate from both places," a senior NCP leader said.

It is being said that Congress may withdraw its candidate from Pandharpur and NCP in return will withdraw its candidate from Aheri.

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