Cong wants Kalmadi protege to quit as KCB vice-president

Six months before the elections to the Khadki Cantonment Board (KCB), members and political leaders of Congress are gunning for the ouster of the party's cantonment vice-president Manish Anand from his post. Congress leaders are miffed over the "failure" of the party to follow the practice of the Pune and Dehu Road cantonments to post vice-presidents on rotation.

Incidentally, Anand is a Suresh Kalmadi protege who had won the KCB election with a record margin. He had campaigned hard for Kalmadi in Khadki area during the last Parliamentary election. After the previous KCB polls, it was Kalmadi who had picked him for the vice-president's post.

Congress men say the party had promised to post its four members as vice-president on rotation basis but has not done so for the past four-and-a-half years after the cantonment board was elected. Former KCB vice president and senior Congress leader Baliram Sawant said, "It has always been a practice in the cantonments to rotate the position of vice president. But in KCB, this has been violated."

The issue has snowballed into a controversy with sitting members of the board pointing out that the Congress party has not kept its promise that vice-presidents will be posted on rotation. Independent member Kamlesh Chaskar said he supported the Congress on the promise that he would be given a chance to serve as the vice-president, "But the party has not abided by its promise," he said. Together with Chaskar, Congress has five members in the eight-member elected board while two are from BJP, one is from NCP.

A senior Congress member said, "The Congress should have given a chance to everyone. In PCB, the party has rotated the position of vice-president from time to time and in Dehu Road Cantonment Board too, the vice-president's post has also been rotated," said the member.

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