Will not be a cake walk for Udayan Raje in Satara

Mumbai: After Udayan Raje Bhosale deserted to the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) has started a search for the candidate for the upcoming by-election for the Satara Lok Sabha seat.

Senior NCP leader and former Member of Parliament Shriniwas Patil’s name is being seriously considered as candidate to challenge Udayan Raje.

After Udayan Raje resignation from Satara Lok Sabha constituency, the by-election will be held soon. He has demanded to hold this by- election along with Assembly election.

This election would be of prestige for Udayan Raje, NCP and BJP too. NCP chief Sharad Pawar has decided to teach a lesson to Udayan Raje and searching for strong candidate. The names discussed were Shriniwas Patil who represented the Karad Lok Sabha twice in 1999 and 2009.

The delimitation of constituencies in 2009, Karad Lok Sabha was abolished and parts of this constituency were merged into Satara and Sangli Lok Sabha constituencies.

Patil was them made Governor of Sikkim. With clean image, experience as member of Lok Sabha and administration, he is considered as best candidate

Prithviraj Chavan says no

Even the name of former chief minister Prithviraj Chavan is also being discussed.

He and his parents too have represented the Karad Lok Sabha constituency. But he had declined this offer by NCP as he is not interested in contesting the Assembly election. Even he if he has agreed, issue of a seat-sharing formula would have been a problem.

Satara falls under NCP quota and Chavan is a Congress leader and NCP would have to give one Lok Sabha seat to Congress. In 2019 Lok Sabha election, Udayan Raje could win the seat by only 1,26, 528 votes and defeated Shiv Sena’s Narendra Patil.

His victory margin was reduced by more than 2 Lakhs as compared to 2009 election. This has worried Udayan Raje so much that immediately after victory he expressed unhappiness over this reduction in margin.

Narendra Patil who garnered 4.52 lakh votes against Udayan Raje is also interested to contest against him again from NCP seat. He recently met Sharad Pawar and expressed his wish.