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Miffed over RS poll ticket to UP poet Pratapgarhi from Maha, Congress leader quits party post


Miffed over the Congress central leadership nominating poet-politician Imran Pratapgarhi, who hails from Uttar Pradesh, as its candidate from Maharashtra for the upcoming Rajya Sabha polls, party functionary Ashish Deshmukh on Tuesday resigned from the post of MPCC general secretary.

Deshmukh, in a letter sent to Congress president Sonia Gandhi, said “Imposing an outside candidate” will not benefit the party in Maharashtra, where it is a constituent of the ruling coalition Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA), and termed the decision to field Pratapgarhi from the state as an injustice to ordinary workers of the organization.

“I am resigning from the post of General Secretary of the Maharashtra Pradesh Congress Committee (MPCC). Imposing an outside candidate will not benefit the party in terms of growth. This is an injustice to general Congress workers in Maharashtra,” said the former MLA.

Deshmukh further said he will continue to work as a loyal Congress member and fulfil all commitments.

Pratapgarhi, a Congress leader from Uttar Pradesh, on Monday filed his nomination papers in Mumbai for the June 10 Rajya Sabha polls.

Senior Congress leader and former CM Prithviraj Chavan, too, has expressed displeasure over the decision to field Pratapgarhi from Maharashtra.

On Monday, Chavan said instead of the poet-politician, Congress veteran and former Union minister Mukul Wasnik, who hails from Maharashtra, should have been fielded from the state for the biennial polls to the Upper House of Parliament.

Wasnik has been fielded by the Congress from Rajasthan.

“Wasnik got a (Rajya Sabha) seat from Rajasthan, while Pratapgarhi, who is a leader from Uttar Pradesh, got a seat from Maharashtra, the former chief minister said at a press conference in Nagpur.

Wasnik and Pratapgarhi can withdraw their nominations from Rajasthan and Maharashtra, respectively, and the former can file papers from his home state, the Congress leader said.

May 31 is the last date for filing nominations for the Rajya Sabha polls in which members of the 288-strong state assembly will vote to elect 6 candidates for the Upper House of Parliament.

The BJP, which has fielded three candidates, has votes to win two seats on its own. The Congress, the Shiv Sena and the NCP, all constituents of the MVA, can win one seat each on their own and will together have surplus votes to win another seat.

The Shiv Sena, which has fielded two candidates, is banking on these surplus votes to win its second seat.


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