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'Cong let NCP contest Bhandara-Gondia bypoll fearing dissent'

Press Trust of India  |  New Delhi 

The let its ally NCP contest in the by-election to the Bhandara-constituency fearing that a section of NCP workers might not cooperate if it had fielded its leader from the seat, sources have said.

Patole, who as a BJP candidate had defeated NCP heavyweight Praful Patel from the constituency in the 2014 parliamentary election, was keen on contesting on a ticket this time, the sources said.

Patole quit as the and resigned from the ruling party to return to the earlier this year, necessitating the by-election.

The sources added that fielding Patole, who quit the BJP criticising and Chief Minister over several issues including agrarian crisis, would have made the ruling party leave no stone unturned to see the former MP was defeated in the May 28 by-election.

Had Patole contested, the BJP would have launched an aggressive campaign to defeat him given his criticism of Modi and Fadnavis.

"Plus, in such a scenario, the possibility of local NCP workers helping the BJP was always there. To avoid this, the party gave up its claim on the seat, one of the sources added.

Besides Bhandara-Gondia, by-election will be held in Palghar constituency, where the Congress has fielded its candidate, on the same day.

The Congress is banking on former MP to win the Palghar seat, the sources added. The Congress and NCP have already decided to contest the bypolls in alliance.

The NCP has fielded Madhukar Kukade in BhandaraGondia.

and are the BJP candidates for the Bhandara-and Palghar seats respectively. Gavit had crossed over to the BJP from the Congress and given the party's ticket on May 8.

The bypoll in Bhandara-seat was necessitated after Patole resigned as the MP. The Palghar seat fell vacant after passed away earlier this year.

The results of the by-elections will be announced on May 31.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Sun, May 13 2018. 15:35 IST