Mumbai: Internal rift within the Congress in Maharashtra came to the fore after the party’s official candidate for the ensuing January 30, Nashik Graduates Legislative Council constituency election Dr Sudhir Tambe withdrew his nomination at the last minute on Thursday, instead his son Satyajeet Tambe declared himself as an Independent candidate in place of his father.
A three-term sitting MLC from the Nashik Graduates constituency, Dr. Sudhir Tambe, whose candidature had been announced by the Congress party high command, failed to file his nomination papers before the 3 p.m. deadline today.
Instead, Dr Tambe’s son, Youth Congress leader Satyajeet Tambe, filed the nomination papers as an Independent candidate.
Interestingly enough, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) too did not announce the name of its candidate for the Nashik Division Graduates constituency. This has led to many eyebrows being raised in political circles in Maharashtra. According to sources, the BJP had been trying to woo a disgruntled Satyajeet on their side.
Satyajeet Tambe argued that since he could not get the ‘AB form’ (Form A and Form B denotes that a certain candidate has been approved by a political party and the authorisation of allotment of party symbol) before the expiry of the 3 p.m., he had filed his nomination as an independent but stressed that he was the Congress’ candidate supported by the ‘Maha Vikas Aghadi’ coalition (of the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP), Congress and Uddhav Thackeray-led Sena faction – UBTSS).
Satyajeet Tambe, who had accompanied his father Dr. Sudhir, further said he would seek the support of all parties, including the ruling BJP to ensure he won the election unopposed.
When questioned how he could file his nomination when the Congress high command had already announced his father’s candidature, Satyajeet Tambe remarked, “This seat has fallen to the Congress quota (in the MVA’s internal arrangement). For many days, we had been discussing this issue (of candidature) … Many senior leaders were eager to contest. However, because of technical reasons or some miscommunication, the party announced Dr. Sudhir Tambe’s candidature. However, I have spoken with senior leaders and have filed my nomination.”
The term of five MLCs, including two from Graduates’ and three from Teachers’ constituencies, will end on February 7, and elections for the same will be held on January 30.
“I am going to ask every party to support me, from the Raj Thackeray-led Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) to the BJP. I will be requesting Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis and State BJP President Chandrashekhar Bawankule for their support. It has been Maharashtra’s political tradition to help candidates win unopposed,” said Satyajeet Tambe, who is the nephew of senior Congressman Balasaheb Tambe.
Satyajeet’s father Dr. Sudhir said there was a need for fresh blood in the Nashik Graduates constituency.
Dr Sudhir Tambe clarified, “So, with the aim of putting a young face forward who will take up issues of the people in the Council, I have withdrawn my candidature.”
However, Satyajeet clarified that though he had filed papers as an independent, his candidature would be as a Congress party candidate as he had devoted his life to the party.
Meanwhile, an embarrassed Maharashtra Pradesh Congress Committee (MPCC) chief Nana Patole said he could comment on the incident only after making a full inquiry into the matter.
“Our candidate was Dr. Sudhir Tambe. Satyajeet had accompanied him to fill the AB form before the 3 pm deadline. We do not know what happened there… I have had no talk with the high command in this regard. I can only speak once I’ve collected all information on this matter,” said Patole.
Patole further said he could not comment on whether any action would be taken against the Tambe’s until he had fully enquired into the matter.