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Aurangabad ex-Congress opts out of LS poll race

Aurangabad ex-Congress opts out of LS poll race

Barely 15 days after quitting the Congress, legislator from Sillod Assembly seat, Abdul Sattar A. Nabi has backtracked and withdrawn from the Lok Sabha poll race, here on Monday. Sattar had left the Congress in a huff after he was denied a Lok Sabha nomination from Aurangabad parliamentary seat. He also announced his plans to contest as an Independent, worrying the Congress over his potential to split the Muslim votes in this minority-dominated seat.



However, Sattar assured that he was "not disgruntled or unhappy with anybody either in the party or the leadership" which could prompt him to leave the party. "I am very keen to do something for the Muslim community, help solve their problems and achieve their aspirations. I feel it can be done on a larger platform through a Muslim elected to Parliament," he had claimed.

A fortnight later, however, Sattar suddenly announced on Monday that he had opted out of the poll race, but assigned no reasons for his move, spelling glad tidings for the Congress. This time, the Aurangabad seat is crucial for all parties. Sitting Shiv Sena MP Chandrakant Khaire is trying to win for the fifth time, but he is challenged by Congress' Subhash Zambad and Vanchit Bahujan Aghadi-AIMIM's Imtiyaz Jaleel. There is a rebel Shiv Sena legislator from Kannad Harshvardhan Jadhav contesting as an Independent, and the founder-president of Aurangabad Shiv Sena unit, Subhash Patil, contesting for Maharashtra Swabhiman Party, founded by former Chief Minister Narayan Rane.

Soon after quitting the Congress and his legislature seat, Sattar had held two meetings with Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, sparking speculation that he would join the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).

The maverick legislator shot into limelight when his supporters carted away 300 plastic chairs he had donated to the Congress party office here.

When asked by media persons on his future plans, he retorted that he had resigned from the Congress and "it was up to them to take a decision on it" - hinting he might return to the party fold if the resignation was rejected.

An aide to state Congress President Ashok Chavan told IANS on Monday (April 8) that the party will take a decision on Sattar's resignation in due course, but declined to elaborate. It may be recalled that in July 2018, Sattar was among the five legislators from various parties who had resigned from the Maharashtra legislature seats in support of the Maratha quotas agitation. Thereafter, the state government finally cleared the 16 percent reservations for Marathas in November. As the issue was resolved amicably, their resignation issue was also over.

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