Maharashtra polls: Samiti replaces Kalavati with another farm widow

"Since Kalavati is not well and under tremendous pressure from many quarters for withdrawing from contest for the October 13 Assembly elections from Wani, Samiti has decided to replace her with Babytai," Vidarbha Janandolan Samiti President Kishore Tiwari said.

"Kalavati will decide her own fate. She may contest if she can withstand pressure, but as far as Samiti is concerned its nominee to represent the farm widows is Babytai whose husband Chhatar Singh Bais ended his life in year 2007," he said.

Kalavati, who shot into limelight after Congress general secretary Rahul Gandhi mentioned her plight in Parliament, was on Friday hospitalised.

She, however, drove in an ambulance to Wani office of Assistant Returning Officer accompanied by Tiwari to file her papers.

Kalavati could not be immediately reached for comments. September 29 is the last date for withdrawal of nominations.

Kalavati had in a recent interview to a leading Marathi newspaper said that she was being "pressurised to contest elections and that she was unaware of what election and politics are."

"I do not want to contest the elections," she had told the newspaper alleging that workers of the VJS had made her announce before the TV cameras that she would contest the Assembly elections.

Sulabh International, another NGO, had, after Rahul Gandhi's speech, committed to deposit Rs 30 lakh in Kalavati's bank account.

Bindeshwar Pathak, Founder of Sulabh International, had tried to dissuade her from entering the poll arena and suggested that she render social service.

Her decision to join politics will have "socially undesirable fallout" of people losing faith in acts of benevolence for the needy, Pathak had said.

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