Sharad Pawar, who officially declared his return to the Mumbai Cricket Association (MCA) after filing his nomination for the president’s post for the October 18 polls yesterday, is set to be elected unopposed.
The veteran politician has already garnered unconditional support from three major groups – Ravi Savant’s Bal Mahaddalkar, Vijay Patil’s Cricket First and Prof Ratnakar Shetty’s panel.
The Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) chief has also smartly negotiated the likely opposition from Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Gopinath Munde and Maharashtra Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan, it is learnt.
Munde eyes VP post
According to sources, Pawar has told his close associates that Chavan, who filed his nomination as a representative of Mazgaon CC for the first time, is unlikely to contest this time. Rumours were rife that Chavan may file his nomination for the president’s post on Friday.
Sources have also indicated that Munde, who was the first to file his nomination for the president’s post on Tuesday, is also in the fray for the vice-president’s post. “There is a possibility of a settlement between Pawar and Munde. This is nothing but pressure tactics by the BJP leader to get an assurity on the vice-president’s post,” informed a source.
With all the three groups supporting Pawar as their presidential candidate and BJP Mumbai chief Ashish Shelar (a vice-presidential candidate) stepping down from the Bal Mahaddalkar panel due to his backing to Munde, this theory gains all the more significance.
October 11 is the last date for filing nominations and candidates would be allowed to withdraw till October 15. Yesterday, Pawar filed his nomination from the Parsi Pioneer Cricket Club. Bal Mahaddalkar and Cricket First groups proposed Pawar’s nomination.
From the Bal Mahaddalkar group, Dr PV Shetty was the proposer while the current MCA president Savant was the seconder. Patil was the proposer from Cricket First panel while Nadim Memon seconded Pawar’s name.
Meanwhile, Pawar, the former MCA boss from 2001 to 2008 and ex-Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) chief, swung into action immediately after filing his nomination. He asked one of his close associates to prepare a list of voters and their phone numbers to establish contact with them. “Pawarsaheb is not known for holding big meetings. He believes in talking to voters individually and hearing their issues,” said a source close to Pawar.