Union Minister Praful Patel and Maharashtra minister Chhagan Bhujbal, who is the Nationalist Congress Party’s OBC face, are among 18 candidates announced by the party on Thursday for the Lok Sabha polls in Maharashtra.
Anand Paranjape, who is the sitting member of the Shiv Sena from Kalyan-Dombivali, is now the NCP nominee from the seat while the party has fielded former Deputy Chief Minister Vijaysinh Mohite Patil from Madha. The Madha seat was represented by party supremo Sharad Pawar in the outgoing Lok Sabha. Pawar has now become a member of the Rajya Sabha.
Bhujbal has been nominated from Nashik replacing his nephew Samir Bhujbal. Pawar had indicated that some Maharashtra ministers will be asked to contest the Lok Sabha polls.
Pawar's daughter Supriya Sule has been renominated from his pocket borough of Baramati, Praful Patel from Bhandara- Gondia, Sanjeev Naik from Thane, Sanjay Dina Patil from Mumbai Northeast, Padamsing Patil from Usmanabad and Udayanraje Bhosale from Satara.
Manish Jain, son of party's Rajya Sabha member Ishwarchand Jain, has been made a nominee from Raver while Dhananjay Mahadik will fight the polls from Kolhapur, Navneet Rana from Amravati, Bharti Pravin Pawar from Dindori, Rajiv Rajale from Ahmednagar, Krishnarao Ingle from Buldhana, Devdatta Nikam from Shirur and Vijay Bhamle from Parabhani.
The announcement was made by party spokesman D P Tripathi who told media persons that a decision on four Maharashtra seats -- Hingoli, Beed, Mawal and Hathkanangale -- is still pending and exchange of any of these seats with Congress is still possible.
Talk is that the Congress would like to get the Hingoli seat for Youth Congress chief Rajiv Satav. The party also announced six candidates from other regions including R S Uma Bharathy from Andaman and Nicobar, Gicho Kabak from Western Arunachal Pradesh, P P Mohd Faizal from Lakshadweep, Fazle Masood from Devaria (Gujarat) and Ghazi Saaduddin Zaheer Ahmed from Nagina (Uttar Pradesh).