Solapur Cong, BJP rivals kick-off LS poll campaign with barbed ‘open letters’

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Solapur (Maharashtra), March 25 (IANS) Kicking the ball to launch the Solapur poll campaign match, Congress candidate Praniti Sushilkumar Shinde on Monday called upon her chief rival and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)’s nominee Ram Satpute to ‘maintain decorum’ during the elections, with a prompt return barb from the latter, here on Monday.

Welcoming Satpute’ candidature in an open letter, Shinde described herself as the daughter of Solapur and expressed hope that the anticipated tough campaigning over the next few weeks, “would remain an ideological fight between the two contending parties with supreme focus on public interest and development”.

“Do bear in mind that, in our ideological struggle over the next 40 days, respect is accorded to democracy, take care that social divisions are not created, and concentrate on how we can ensure the overall progress of the society here… That’s my hope,” urged Shinde, a sitting MLA from Solapur City Central Assembly seat.

She pointed out that Solapur has a multi-lingual, multi-religious social structure in the city and the district where all people are entitled to express their views freely, whether locals or outsiders.

“In my opinion, the needs and problems concerning the people, the major issues pertaining to the development of the Solapur constituency should remain the focal point of any electoral debate in a democracy,” said Shinde, the daughter of Sushilkumar Shinde, ex-chief minister and former Union home minister.

Replying post-haste with his own open letter, Satpute claimed that while Shinde is an ‘outsider’, he is an elected MLA from the Malshiras Assembly segment in the Solapur district, living there, and hailing from the family of an ordinary sugarcane worker.

“What has she and her father Sushilkumar Shinde (3-time MP) done for the people of Solapur, the workers, the industrial sector and its overall growth for all these years. All the development and progress of the district has been taken up by Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the Centre and the BJP governments in the state,” said Satpute sharply.

Taking a swipe at the Congress, he said that the BJP has never indulged in creating religious-social divisions, but who has created such a situation is known well not only to the people of Solapur but the entire country.

Satpure added that the nation and society have been kept together by the PM’s slogan of ‘Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas’ with the benefits reaching to the last man in society.

Nominated in place of the sitting BJP MP, Jaisiddheshwar Swami, Satpute exuded confidence that just as Shinde has ‘warmly welcomed’ his candidature, she would also ‘heartily felicitate’ him after he wins the Solapur Lok Sabha seat in the coming elections.

Nevertheless, the exchange of ‘polite letters’ sparked a political flutter in the state celebrating the colours of the auspicious Holi festival.

Presently, besides Praniti Shinde, the Solapur LS seat has four BJP candidates elected from Solapur South (Subhash Deshmukh), Solapur City North (Vijay Deshmukh), Akkalkot (Sachin Kalyanshetti) and Pandharpur (Samadhan Autade), and Nationalist Congress Party’s Yashwant Mane (Mohol-SC).




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