The CPM will announce its decision to contest the bypoll on May 3.
Mumbai: In a big jolt to hopes nursed by the opposition, the Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPM) will contest the byelection to the Palghar Lok Sabha. While deliberations are on to field a single candidate against the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), it is pretty clear that the CPM will announce its decision to contest the by-poll on May 3. Meanwhile, another key local party, the Bahujan Vikas Aghadi (BVA), remains undecided about contesting the by-election.
The CPM has organised a march of farmers and tribals from Palghar district on May 3 in Dahanu. The party’s national leader Nilotpal Basu will address the march. Sources said that the CPM will leverage the march to declare its decision of contesting the by-poll.
The byelection to the Palghar Lok Sabha is as important as that to the Bhandara-Gondia Lok Sabha for both the ruling BJP and the Congress. In the 2014 Palghar Lok Sabha bypoll, the CPM garnered 78,000 votes whereas in 2009, the party bagged 93,000 votes from this seat. While both BJP and Congress are prepping for the bypoll, the CPM holds key to nearly 80,000 votes in this constituency. Earlier, there was talk of the Congress and CPM joining hands to defeat the BJP however the CPM’s central leadership has now taken the decision to go it alone in the byelection.
Meanwhile, Mahara-shtra Congress chief Ashok Chavan has made it clear that the Congress will contest the
Palghar seat even as Bhandara-Gondia remains open for discussion with the NCP. Hence, it has been clarified that there will be a minimum three strong candidates contesting the seat. About BVA’s indecision, a senior Congress leader observed, “It is known that BVA leader Hiten Thakur goes with the party in power. So, he will play his game according to the BJP.”