Anna's village sarpanch withdraws nomination

Alleging "sabotage" by a local NCP leader, Jaisingh Mapare quits the electoral race

In an abrupt move, Jaisingh Mapare, the sarpanch (headman) of Anna Hazare's village, yesterday withdrew his nomination as a Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) candidate for the Zilla Parishad polls, alleging "sabotage" by party leaders.

Mapare took the decision to withdraw his candidature for the February 7 elections following a meeting of the villagers held here yesterday afternoon.

Confirming the developments, NCP state spokesman Madan Bafna said Mapare had informed the party of his decision to quit the electoral race.

"We are not aware of the reason for this sudden change, but it must be something major. We shall inquire into the issue and take suitable steps," Bafna said.

However Mapare alleged that a former MLA was seeking to sabotage his electoral bid. "Vasantrao Jhavade and his son Sujit have been openly campaigning against me since the past few weeks," heĀ  said.

Mapare claimed that Jhavade harboured old enmity with Hazare. "In fact, Jhavade has put up an independent candidate to oppose me and was campaigning among the villagers not to vote for me," Mapare added.

He said he brought this to the notice of the NCP top brass, including Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar, who urged him to go ahead and contest the polls.

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