Kalmadi was addressing mediapersons after his loyalist Bandu Gaikwad was elected as the deputy mayor yesterday. He was present at the PMC headquarters where the election took place. Gaikwad received 83 votes, with NCP’s support, and defeated Sena-BJP candidate by a margin of 42 votes. Kalmadi said it was he who had recommended Gaikwad’s name for the post.
“Even today, I’m well-connected and active in the city politics. Even now I’m capable of influencing decisions. Bandu has been working for the party for a long time so we decided to give him the opportunity,” said Kalmadi while speaking with the media.
When questioned about his willingness to contest for the upcoming general election, he said, “I have started preparations for the election from my end. The decision regarding approaching the party will be taken later. Currently, I’m focusing on the city-related issues.” Last month, Kalmadi had claimed that he would be the Congress candidate for the Lok Sabha elections from Pune. Following Kalmadi’s statement, Congress aspirant for Pune Lok Sabha seat MLC Mohan Joshi said he had never left the party in his 38-year-old political career and the party high command would definitely consider his loyalty before issuing the ticket.
Congress spokesperson Anant Gadgil said, “Currently, Kalmadi is not in the party so there is no point in commenting on his statement. About the candidature for Pune Lok Sabha seat, everybody have the right to express his or her willingness. But eventually it will be the party high command’s decision.”