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Mumbai, Jun 23: Rebel NCP candidate, Shivajirao Nalawade, who is contesting as an independent at the Mumbai graduate constituency elections for the Maharashtra Legislative Council, is creating ripples in the Congress.

Although the NCP has vowed to rally behind Congress candidate Amarjit Singh Manhas, the party feels the NCP is indulging in mischief, as some of its activists are lobbying for Nalawade. Shiv Sena has fielded Deepak Sawant for the election, to be held tomorrow.

To confuse the Congress further, Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) is also pitching in for Nalawade, who shares a close relationship with Pravin Darekar, a Raj Thackeray aide.

A Congress leader rued, “We have spoken to NCP leaders and asked them to take action against Nalawade, as he is still their member. Although the party has promised to act, it hasn’t done so as yet.”

Spokesperson Gurunath Kulkarni said there was no question of taking action against Nalawade, as he had resigned. “We read reports in newspapers that he has resigned from the party before contesting. So, we didn’t sack him,” said Kulkarni.

However, an NCP office bearer said that while Nalawade had sent in his resignation, the party hadn’t accepted it.

A Congress functionary said, “The party is not making an issue out of it, as it feels Manhas will win by a clear margin.”


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