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Congress firm on contesting late Mahajan's vacant RS seat

Written by: Staff

Mumbai, May 14 (UNI) The Maharashtra Congress is firm on contesting the Rajya Sabha seat of senior Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Pramod Mahajan, which fell vacant after his demise last week.

MPCC spokesperson Hussain Dalwai told UNI that the party would not give up its claim on the seat, even if any member of the departed leader's family was fielded.

''We have sympathy for the BJP leader's untimely and tragic demise. But politics is politics,'' he added.

When asked about reports in a section of the media that Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) was not averse to support Mr Mahajan's family member for the seat, he said there was no discussion on this issue within the NCP or with the Congress.

Mr Dalwai expressed confidence that the NCP would support the Congress candidate in the fray.

''When Sanjay Nirupam resigned as Rajya Sabha MP, we allowed the NCP to take that seat. We have the numbers to wrest the seat falling vacant due to Mahajan's death from the BJP,'' he said.

NCP spokesperson Dr Ratnakar Mahajan, when contacted, described the reports as ''baseless'', stating that NCP would support the BJP if Mahajan's family member was fielded for the by-election.

Congress and NCP would discuss the issue of by-election and take a decision appropriately after the election dates are announced, he said.

''When Nirupam's seat fell vacant, NCP had the largest number of seats, so the seat went to the party. Now, Congress has more seats,'' he explained and added, ''that did not mean the seat would definitely go to the Congress.'' UNI MR SSS PK BD2039

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