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'It takes a Congressman to beat a Congressman'

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Right now senior NCP and Congress leaders are not at all inclined to appreciate the beauty of these sunflowers along the Baramati-Phaltan route.

The fight in Maharashtra was supposed to have been between them and the Shiv Sena-BJP.

But a large number of Congress and NCP rebels are set to gatecrash the party, and nowhere is this more glaring than in western Maharashtra, the state's sugar bowl.

Rebels are there in almost all the 72 seats in the region, which comprises the districts of Sangli, Satara, Solapur, Kolhapur, Pune, and Ahmednagar.

Almost all senior leaders of the Congress and the NCP come from this region, and that includes Chief Minister Sushilkumar Shinde, Deputy Chief Minister Vijaysinh Mohite-Patil, Finance Minister Jayant Patil, Home Minister R R Patil, Cooperative Minister Vilas Patil-Undalkar, and Industry Minister Patangrao Kadam.

Photographs and Text: Salil Kumar

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