The Navhind Times Archive

Khalap cautions Congress against backing Parsekar



Stating that the chances of Congress candidate winning are bright in the forthcoming Mandrem bypoll, former Union minister and senior Congress leader Ramakant Khalap on Saturday said that the Congress party should refrain from extending support to senior BJP leader Laxmikant Parsekar, who intends to contest as an Independent.

Khalap and Parsekar are political rivals and have crossed swords in the past
when the BJP government led by Parsekar and current government led by Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar blocked grants in aid to Khalap’s Mandre College of Commerce and Economics.

“Congress should not extend support to Laxmikant Parsekar. Where will he go after elections? He is not going to remain with Congress, as he has been virtually brought up by the BJP; how can one trust that he will support us,” said Khalap who is also one of the three aspirants who have expressed their wish to contest the bypoll and are claiming ticket from the Congress party.

Speaking to this daily, Khalap said that his assessments predict that Congress at present stands at the top position to win the Mandrem bypoll. He placed Parsekar as likely at the second position followed by BJP candidate Dayanand Sopte and according to him, Jeet Arolkar could be at the fourth position. “I feel that Congress should not take any chance as an equation in politics doesn’t remain same all the time,” Khalap said advising Congress to practice caution.

When questioned as to how he was looking at his chances of getting Congress ticket when two other Congressmen Sachin Parab, son of former education minister Sangita Parab, and senior local leader Babi Bagkar have emerged in the probable list of candidates, he said that beyond expressing his readiness to contest the bypoll, he has not lobbied for himself. “I don’t want to compare myself with anybody, they too are good people. If at all I contest and get elected, it will be only for three years, so that offers enough opportunities to the newcomers or the second generation to work for the party and establish their own claim to the party ticket,” he said.

“If I go to the Assembly there will be proper contribution to the debate in the Assembly and it is the people’s view. I am comfortable with the Lok Sabha ticket also but I will insist on getting either one of the two tickets,” he said.

Khalap further said that the Congress party should recognise his ‘contribution and sacrifice’ for the party. “I haven’t quarrelled whenever Congress denied ticket to me. Some of the historical facts cannot be overlooked,” he concluded.


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