Congress candidate for Pune Vishwajeet Kadam, who was picked over Suresh Kalmadi, took on the BJP’s prime ministerial candidate yesterday, while playing down speculations of factionalism within his own party
Congress has endeavoured to bury Suresh Kalmadi’s tainted past by looking at the future — replacing the outgoing Pune MP with youth leader Vishwajeet Kadam as its candidate for the upcoming Lok Sabha elections.
Sweet success: Congress workers congratulating Vishwajeet Kadam for getting the party’s ticket from Pune constituency. Pic/Mohan Patil
And while the 33-year-old son of Maharashtra minister Patangrao Kadam refrained from saying anything disparaging about Kalmadi, in fact eulogising him to an extent, he wasted no time in targeting the man who has become the locus of these elections.
Striking a chord: Vishwajeet Kadam addressing Congress party workers at yesterday’s event. Pic/Mohan Patil
Taking on the BJP’s prime ministerial candidate, Kadam said that while there might be a Modi ‘wave’ in the country, Congress president Sonia Gandhi will bring a storm. He was speaking at a ceremony organised for him by city Congress leaders following the announcement of his candidature.
“Some political parties that believe in fascist ideology are misguiding citizens by spreading falsehoods against Congress. However, it was the UPA government that took utmost care of the poor by bringing the Food Security and Land Acquisition Acts,” said Kadam. He also denied that there was disgruntlement among senior leaders in the city because of the party nominating him from the constituency.
“These were all rumours, and all the party leaders and workers are now functioning, ensuring a win in Pune constituency,” Kadam added.
Reportedly, Congress MLA Vinayak Nimhan and MLC Mohan Joshi’s names were also in the race for candidature.
While replying to a question on the plummeting popularity of Congress in the country, including Pune, Kadam said that although many were scams exposed during the reign of the UPA government, it was Congress, which immediately took action and suspended party members involved in corruption.
Meanwhile, except party city chief Abhay Chhajed, no senior leader was present at the ceremony in Congress Bhavan. “Nimhan, Joshi, and even former deputy mayor Deepak Mankar conveyed their wishes to me. However, due to an emergency party meeting, they couldn’t be present here,” Kadam said.
Referring to Suresh Kalmadi as a veteran leader and the strongest pillar for political workers, Kadam said that he didn’t want to dwell much into the corruption charges, since the case against him was still going on.