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Pressure mounts on Maharashtra Oppn leader Radhakrishna Vikhe Patil after son joins BJP

Friday, March 15, 2019
By A Staff Reporter

A day after Sujay Vikhe Patil – son of senior congress leader Radhakrishna Vikhe Patil joined the BJP,  pressure has been mounted on MLA Radhakrishna Vikhe Patil to resign as his failure to contain his own son Sujay from joining the BJP.

Maharashtra Congress committee had called the meeting on Thursday to discuss the fate of Opposition Leader and seat sharing announcement with alliance partner like Raju Shetti led Swabhimani Shetkari Sangathan and Communication Party of India (CPM).

Radha Krishna Vikhe Patil earlier denied resigning from the post of Leader of Opposition. However, sources in Congress said that it will send the wrong signal if Vikhe Patil is not sacked.

"How will we  convince people to vote for the Congress? Sujay's father Radhakrishna Vikhe Patil criticised the BJP and Sena and even made serious allegations against the Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis over urban development alleged Rs 10,000 crore scam. Now, his son is praising the same CM Fadnavis and accepting the leadership. So all allegations and tempo build up in the last four and half year has watered down. Now people should believe his father or him? We have lost moral high ground ahead of crucial Lok Sabha polls," said a senior Congress leader requested anonymity.

Vikhe Patil wanted his son to contest on Congress ticket from Ahmednagar however the NCP refused to give its quota seat to Congress. So Sujay Vikhe Patil switched the side so that he can contest the Lok Sabha polls on BJP ticket.

Balasaheb Thorat, senior Congress leader from Ahmednagar said that the time has come for Vikhe Patil to prove his loyalty towards the party.

"Now will he wholeheartedly campaign for the Congress-NCP alliance candidate or his son who recently joined the BJP? Even if he does campaign for Opposition's candidates, will the people trust him? Radha Krishna Vikhe Patil has to answer many questions," Thorat said.

Maharashtra Congress president Ashok Chavan said that Congress president Rahul Gandhi did call him to know this political development. Chavan clarified that they have not yet taken the decision of accepting the resignations of Vikhe Patil. "We will discuss in the party forum and take the appropriate decisions," Chavan said.

Political observers believe that Sujay Vikhe has made a major blunder by switching side at the crucial juncture of his father political career.

"The stock of Vikhe Patil has drastically come down in Congress party now. He was the face for the Congress for the post of chief minister. When in 2014, the Congress and the NCP lost the Lok Sabha polls, Congress president Sonia Gandhi wanted a change of guard in Maharashtra.”

Radhakrishna Vikhe Patil was the first choice as chief minister for Congress. They wanted to replace Prithviraj Chavan with Vikhe Patil. The meeting was also called to convey this development to its alliance partner NCP. But Prithviraj Chavan rushed to Delhi and convinced Rahul Gandhi so this major development could not take place. Otherwise, Vikhe Patil would have become CM of Maharashtra. Now with his son's decision to join BJP, his political weight in the party has reduced," said senior NCP leader who was privy with this development.

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