Baramati: BJP fields MLA against Sule

Baramati may not be quite the cakewalk that Supriya Sule would have been hoping for. The BJP on Friday announced Kanta Nalawade, senior vice-president of its state unit, as the candidate for the coveted seat, ending two weeks of speculation. Nalawade, who has 35 years of political experience, is expected to put up a tough fight against Sule who is contesting the Lok Sabha election for the first time.

A sitting MLA from Baramati, Nalawade will file her nomination on Saturday. She sounded confident about taking on Sule. "Baramati city has seen development, but the rural areas have seen little. There are plenty of issues which remain to be resolved," said Nalawade, a farmer's daughter. "Load-shedding, water scarcity and unemployment will be the major issues that I would like to take up."

An M Phil in literature, Nalawade is also an excellent orator. "She has led several women's agitations and has also been successful as president of the women's wing of the party," said a BJP leader.

Other senior BJP leaders said the party believes Nalawade will put up a tough fight against Sule. "Nalwade is the right candidate to take on Sharad Pawar's daughter."

NCP workers, however, said, "Sule has been campaigning for two months and received good support."

Nalawade (57) was a BJP national secretary in 2000. She and her husband Jaisinghrao Nalawade started their career with the Jan Sangh. Nalawade has also been an MLC.

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