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Kalawati fears losing Sulabh aid, says NGO

Source: PTI
September 22, 2009 15:39 IST
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The widow of a farmer in Vidarbha, who attained fame after Congress leader Rahul Gandhi mentioned her name in Parliament last year, may not contest Maharashtra Assembly polls on an opposition ticket from the region.

Kalawati Bandurkar was scheduled to contest the October 13 polls from Wani Assembly Constituency in Yavatmal district as Vidarbha Janandolan Samiti candidate, but in a recent interview to a leading Marathi newspaper she had said that she was being "pressurised to contest elections and that she was unaware of what election and politics were."

"I do not want to contest the elections," she had told the newspaper alleging that workers of the VJS, an non-governmental organisation, had made her announce before the TV cameras that she would contest the assembly elections.

Reacting to her statement, VJS leader Kishore Tiwari told PTI, "She is saying such things because she does not want to lose financial aid from Sulabh. If she is not ready, we have several other farmers' widows who will contest."

Sulabh International had, after Rahul Gandhi's speech, committed to deposit Rs 30 lakh in Kalawati's bank account. Bindeshwar Pathak, Founder of Sulabh International had, on Monday, asked Kalawati to 'refrain from joining politics' and render social service.

Her decision to join a political party will have "socially undesirable fallout" of people losing faith in acts of benevolence for the needy, Pathak had said Pathak had, however, also assured her of fulfilling his commitment whether she heeds to his advise or not.

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