Sharad Pawar is ready to fight out with Dr Vijay Patil to retain his president's seat in the June 17 biennial elections of the Mumbai Cricket Association (MCA).
There were rumours that Pawar, who will be challenged for the top post for the first time in 14 years, might not contest this time to resurrect his Nationalist Congress Party's (NCP) dwindling fortunes in the state.
The other fear in the Bal Mahaddalkar camp was that Pawar had not given any commitment until yesterday. It is believed that the former Maharashtra chief minister has already started calling voters and is set to address them in Kandivali today.
It is learnt Pawar has been appealing to the voters to not just vote for him, but also for the Bal Mahaddalkar candidates which might make things tougher for Vijay Patil's Cricket First group.
Ravi Savant and BJP chief Ashish Shelar, who also filed nominations for the president's post from the Bal Mahaddalkar group in case Pawar changed his mind at the last moment, are now set to contest for the Joint Secretary and Vice-President posts respectively.
Meanwhile, Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray, who is backing Cricket First group, is set to speak to voters on the eve of the MCA elections. A clearer picture of final positions of candidates will emerge as deadline for withdrawals is today.
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