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Congress wants Pawar to take ‘firm’ action against defiant leaders

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With a view to instill a sense of trust and strengthen coordination between two alliance partners ahead of crucial Maharashtra Assembly elections, the Congress asked NCP leadership to take “definite” action against party leaders who tried to spoil the prospects of nominees put up by Congress in just-held Lok Sabha polls.

While citing the action taken by its coalition partner against those leaders who had defied the party line to work against official candidates, Congress said it would also “reciprocate”.

NCP has taken action against Vijaykumar Gavit by sacking him from the ministry and the party after his daughter bagged the BJP candidature in Nandurbar against Congress veteran Manikrao Gavit.

“Similarly, Sawantwadi MLA Deepak Kesarkar resigned after he refused to tow the NCP line to support Congress candidate Nitesh Rane in Ratnagiri-Sindhudurg. Similarly, Sindhudurg district NCP chief Bal Bhise was sacked,” Thakre said.

He said the action against such leaders should be followed up with not giving them tickets for the Assembly polls and not taking them back in the party.

Thakre said that barring a few places, the overall coordination between Congress and NCP was “good” as “both the parties fought elections together and in true spirit of the coalition”.

“We expect some definite action from Sharad Pawar in this respect at the NCP’s May 10 meeting in Mumbai. Congress will also do the same,” he said.

Citing example of Parbhani Lok Sabha seat, Thakare said the NCP candidate Vijay Bhambale had contested as an Independent against Congress MLA Ramprasad Bordikar in 2009 elections.

“Bhamble was reinstated within 15 days in the NCP and was made the district unit chief of the party and also given the NCP candidature for Lok Sabha polls,” he added.

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