Tough Cop Pradeep Sharma set to 'encounter' political opposition

The speculations suggest that Encounter Specialist Pradeep Sharma might contest the upcoming Maharashtra assembly elections from Nalasopara seat on Shiv Sena ticket

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After Mumbai Police accepted his resignation, encounter specialist Pradeep Sharma is all set to enter active politics. Sharma joined Shiv Sena on Friday evening and speculations suggest that he might contest the upcoming Maharashtra assembly elections from Nalasopara seat. 

If Sharma is fielded from Nalasopara, it would be interesting to witness the fight between local party Bahujan Vikas Aghadi (BVA) and the ruling party. Shiv Sena and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) alliance will try to weaken the local party by fielding Pradeep Sharma from Nalasopara which is a non-Marathi dominated area. 

Hitendra Thakur-led BVA has a stronghold in Virar-Vasai Municipal Corporation and has MLAs representing the party from Vasai and Nalasopara assembly constituency. Moreover, Palghar’s Boisar seat was also with BVA until party’s MLA Vilas Tare joined Shiv Sena recently. 

Earlier, Shiv Sena didn’t have any candidate from Nalasopara who could match the popularity of BVA leaders. However, with the news of Sharma’s induction in Shiv Sena and speculations regarding him contesting from Nalasopara seat has troubled the local party. 

Nalasopara has a majority of the North Indian population which will eventually support Pradeep Sharma if he is fielded from the same assembly seat. Given the current political situation, the people from Gujarati and Marathi community will choose BJP or Shiv Sena over BVA. This can be a significant victory for Shiv Sena and Pradeep Sharma. 

After Sharma’s resignation was accepted, he initiated meetings with Nalasopara’s leaders, sources informed. After the meeting, BJP Nalasopara Ward 81 President Raju Chandrabali Yadav informed that Sharma has asked them to start preparing for the upcoming assembly elections while establishing relations with voters and workers to initiate the election campaigns. 

Although it is not easy to break VBA's stronghold in Nalasopara assembly constituency, however, Pradeep Sharma’s ‘tough cop’ image can cause trouble for the local party.

Noted criminals in the underworld including Dawood Ibrahim, Chhota Rajan was on the hit list of police during Sharma’s time as a cop in Mumbai. Sharma managed to encounter several infamous criminals including three Lashkar-e-Taiba terrorists. 

Also Read - Senior NCP Leader Bhaskar Jadhav Joins Shiv Sena

Earlier in 2008, Sharma was suspended over alleged fake encounter of gangster Lakhan Bhaiya. However, he was reinstated in the force after a court acquitted him. Nana Patekar’s character in ‘Ab Tak 56’ was based on the counter specialist Pradeep Sharma.

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