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|January 13, 1998||
Seshan may not get Sena ticket
Syed Firdaus Ashraf in Bombay
The chances of former chief election commissioner T N Seshan contesting the general election on a Shiv Sena ticket receded on Tuesday when his name did not figure in the party's second list of candidates.
The five candidates include three members of the 11th Lok Sabha -- Rajabhau Godse from Nashik, Anant Gude from Amravati and Suresh Jadhav from Parbhani. The other nominees are Ashok Gujar (Ramtek) who joined the Sena after contesting the 1996 Lok Sabha election as an Independent, and Jaywantrao Bhosale from Karad. The first list cleared 13 nominees.
Out of the 48 parliamentary constituencies in Maharashtra, the Sena will contest 21 seats and its alliance partner, the Bharatiya Janata Party 27. The Sena is yet to finalise its nominees from Washim, Nagar and Khed.
Sena spokesman Subhash Desai told the media, "It is not necessary that Seshan should contest only from Maharashtra. He can contest any seat outside Maharashtra with Sena support.'' The Sena plans to contest 100-odd seats outside the state.
Asked if the Sena would not field the former CEC in one of the three vacant slots in the state, Desai said, "It is up to Balasaheb Thackeray to decide. He is in touch with Seshan, and his decision will be announced in a few days."
Interestingly, the Sena set to rest speculation that it would field a candidate against former Union minister of state for railways Suresh Kalmadi in Pune. Kalmadi recently quit the Congress, and may join hands with the BJP.
"In the last election, the BJP contested the election against Kalmadi. If they are not putting up a candidate, we too won't contest," Desai clarified .
Welcoming Kalmadi's decision to quit the Congress, Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister Gopinath Munde said the BJP plans to support Kalmadi to ensure the defeat of the Congress candidate.
"The Kalmadi issue will be resolved after discussions with Balasaheb Thackeray and our national leaders," Munde added. Interestingly, the BJP is also thinking of fielding a Muslim candidate from Latur. "District vice-president Adnan Khan may get the ticket," the DyCM said.
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