Former union home minister Shivraj Patil, who had to quit after the Mumbai terror attacks in November 2008, may soon get politically rehabilitated.
Patil, currently the Punjab governor, is reportedly a frontrunner for the Rajya Sabha seat vacated by chief minister Prithviraj Chavan. Sources that the Congress high command was considering Patil, who is a senior leader from Maharashtra, due to growing opposition against candidates from other states.
The Congress already has Rajiv Shukla from Uttar Pradesh representing the state in the Rajya Sabha. The state legislative assembly will elect the new MP.
Patil’s rehabilitation is a political necessity since former chief minister Vilasrao Deshmukh, who also stepped down the 26/11, was made union minister six months after the attacks.
Patil got a gubernatorial assignment, but he doesn’t want to stay in the Raj Bhavan for long and insists on coming back to active politics.
A senior Congress leader from New Delhi told Hindustan Times that Patil’s name had come up because ‘outsiders’ -- former chief of Madhya Pradesh Congress Suresh Pachouri, deputy chairman of planning commission Montek Singh Ahluwalia and all India Congress Committee member (in-charge Maharashtra) Mohan Prakash — too are vying for the seat.
The state Congress leaders have strongly opposed the move to import any of these leaders. While all top shots are lobbying hard for the seat, Sanjay Dutt is leaving no stone unturned to get the party nomination. His claim to the ticket is that he sacrificed his legislative council seat for Chavan when no other party legislator was willing to do so.
Dutt’s resignation facilitated Chavan’s election to the state legislature within the mandatory six months’ deadline.