Mumbai: Bharatiya Janata Party leader Gopinath Munde has officially decided to put his hat in the ring for the Mumbai Cricket Association elections. Munde filed his nominations for the MCA president’s post on Tuesday. All eyes would be set on the elections as Munde is most likely to be pitted against Nationalist Congress Party chief Sharad Pawar, after the latter expressed his wish to contest the MCA presidential polls this October.
What is interesting is that Munde’s entry in to the MCA fight would not just be over cricket. Munde’s supporters claim that the latter’s candidature has been backed by the Shiv Sena too. In fact, when Munde filed his nomination, it was seconded by Shiv Sena leader Subhash Desai who is also representing the Prabhodan Club.
It has been learnt that there are 30 to 35 clubs that are affiliated with the Shiv Sena-BJP and this could come in handy to swing the result of the election. MCA sources said that this could explain the reason behind Pawar not filing his nomination for the post. Pawar’s supporters said that he would be filling his nomination on October 11 — the last date of filing of nominations.
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Sources said that Pawar would only contest the elections once he is assured of winning and is waiting to confirm whether the numbers are there with him. Pawar’s hesistance comes even as two powerful groups have indicated that they would support him. Not only is the NCP chief being supported by the Bal Mahadalkar group, but also the Vijay Patil group has announced that it would support Pawar in the MCA elections.
Interestingly, the city’s BJP President Ashish Shelar — who on Tuesday — proposed Munde’s name for the MCA President’s post was in the Mahadalkar group till as late as October. However, now Shelar seems to be supporting Munde.
After filing his nominations, Munde targetted the Pawar panel without naming him. Munde said that MCA has taken a number of decisions, but none of them have ever been implemented on the ground.
Even though Munde has filed his nomination, there is still no clarity as to whether or not chief minister Prithviraj Chavan will file his nomination for the post. Chavan had caused a stir when he became a member of the Kharghar-based Mazgaon Cricket Club.
While Chavan has become a member, he has not given a hint as to whether he would also join Munde in thwarting Pawar’s bid.
Reproduced from Mail Today. Copyright 2013. MTNPL. All rights reserved.