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Maha MLA Nilesh Lanke in Sharad Pawar fold, but not yet in NCP-SP

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Maha MLA Nilesh Lanke in Sharad Pawar fold, but not yet in NCP-SP

Pune, March 15 (IANS) Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) MLA Nilesh D. Lanke openly hobnobbed with the Nationalist Congress Party (SP) President Sharad Pawar on Thursday, but fell short of joining the latter’s party owing to certain technicalities.

Belonging to the NCP led by Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar, Lanke proudly proclaimed that he is with Sharad Pawar in “the past, present and in future”, and would always work for him.

On his part, Sharad Pawar, along with other NCP (SP) leaders like Jayant Patil and Amol R. Kolhe, accorded a warm welcome to Lanke and lauded his public services while releasing a new book penned by him.

Lanke, 44, has publicly expressed a desire to contest from the Ahmednagar Lok Sabha constituency and said that Sharad Pawar has assured him of the necessary support if he decided to stand in the elections.

However, a visibly peeved Ajit Pawar dismissed Lanke as having no influence beyond his constituency Parner (Ahmednagar), and “someone has puffed up his brain with dreams of Lok Sabha which he can never attain”.

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Both Sharad Pawar and Ajit Pawar claimed that they had brought Lanke to politics and even ensured his election from Parner in 2019.

Nevertheless, Sharad Pawar is understood to have explained to him the technicalities preventing his formal entry into the NCP (SP) as he is a sitting MLA – with eight more months left for his first tenure.

In case Lanke opts to join the NCP (SP), he could face immediate disqualification proceedings and probably get barred from contesting elections for six years, said a party leader.

In the event of Lanke quitting as an MLA and then contesting the Lok Sabha elections, he could bypass the legal complications and yet fulfil his political ambitions.

Indicating that he has made up his mind, Lanke reached the meeting venue in his car sporting a sticker of ‘Trumpeter’, the symbol of NCP (SP), discarding the Ajit Pawar-led NCP’s ‘Clock’ symbol.

–IANS

qn/arm

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