Maharashtra Congress unit chief Ashok Chavan has summoned Navinchandra Bandivadekar, the candidate with purported links to radical outfit Sanatan Sanstha to appear before state core committee.
A huge row had erupted after the Congress gave ticket to Bandivadekar to contest from Ratnagiri-Sindhudurg constituency. Bandivadekar had supported Nalasopara arms hauls key accused Vaibhav Raut. Raut has links to the radical organisation Sanatan Sanstha.
Navinchadra Bandiwadekar had claimed that he attended Sanatan meeting as a leader of Bhandari community.
Following this, state Congress chief and former state chief minister Ashok Chavan had sought a party probe into Navinchandra Bandivadekar's links with the Sanatan Sanstha.
This translates to:
'The Congress aspirant to the Sindhudurg Lok Sabha seat in Ratnagiri having links to the Sanatan Sanstha has been highlighted in the media. The Congress is against the ideology of the Sanatan Sanstha. A probe will be conducted and a decision on his candidature will be taken.'
Bandivadekar will meet Maharashtra Congress core committee members on Saturday evening in Mumbai to present his clarification. The meeting is likely to take place at the state Congress office.
In what seems to amount to trouble for the Congress in this matter, its Maharashtra ally NCP had demanded that the Congress candidate be changed, calling the ticket unacceptable.
Jitendra Awhad from the NCP had tweeted saying:
Earlier on Thursday, Republic TV had broken news of Congress giving a ticket to Bandivadekar on Thursday. In the candidate list for Maharashtra for the Lok Sabha elections accessed by Republic, Bandivadekar's name is mentioned:
Republic TV spoke to Bandivadekar who confirmed that he will be contesting from Ratnagiri-Sindhudurg seat in Maharashtra from Congress ticket and also that he supported the accused in the Nalasopara arms haul case Vaibhav Raut as he belongs to his community.
"Yes, it has been officially declared. But I will not support those accused in the arms haul case if still they are held guilty," he said.