Mumbai: The Congress on Tuesday announced the candidature of former party MP Damodar Shingda for the 28 May bypoll to Palghar Lok Sabha constituency, adjoining Mumbai, on a day party leader Rajendra Gavit crossed over to the BJP and was nominated as a candidate.
Talking to reporters, Maharashtra unit Congress president Ashok Chavan said the people would teach "traitors" a lesson, hours after Gavit, a tribal leader and former minister, joined the BJP in presence of Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis and state unit BJP chief Raosaheb Danve.
Chavan criticised the BJP for inducting Gavit into its fold.
"Fadnavis says that it was wrong on part of the Shiv Sena to nominate late MP Chintaman Wanga's son as its candidate (for the Palghar bypoll)....So, Shiv Sena's conduct is wrong and yours is right," Chavan said referring to Gavit's defection.
Referring to Fadnavis' remarks that Gavit was in touch with the BJP for some time, Chavan asked, "Is it democratically right to give members of other parties the tickets to contest elections on your symbol?"
Terming Gavit's exit as a good riddance, Chavan said that anyway he wouldn't have allotted the ticket to contest the bypoll.
"It's good Gavit has left. His name was considered but it was not possible to give him a ticket as he had lost elections twice in a row. May be he left because he got the hint.
"Apart from him, Shingda's name was also in reckoning. Now, we have no problem to recommend Shingda's name to the Parliamentary board. After the clearance, Shingda will file his nomination papers on May 10," he said.
Shingda was a five-time member of the Lok Sabha from Dahanu constituency in Palghar district.
Gavit, a former minister of state for tribal affairs, had lost the Assembly election from Palghar in 2014. He was also defeated in the 2015 bypoll from the same constituency after the death of sitting BJP MLA Krishna Ghoda.
Chavan accused the BJP of weaning away leaders of other parties through "money power".
"There is nothing called the party loyalty now. Late BJP MP Chintaman Wanga's son (Shrinivas) is the Shiv Sena candidate and Congressman Gavit is the BJP candidate in Palghar. Using money power, the BJP has started taking away people from other parties," he added.
The BJP won the Palghar (ST) constituency in 2014, but the death of its sitting MP Chintaman Wanga early this year necessitated the by-election.
Updated Date: May 08, 2018 21:09 PM