Battle for Sangli: Post-poll event sparks bickering between Congress and Sena (UBT) | Mumbai news - Hindustan Times

Battle for Sangli: Post-poll event sparks bickering between Congress and Sena (UBT)

May 24, 2024 08:04 AM IST

Congress and Shiv Sena in Mumbai are at odds over the Sangli constituency, with the Sena demanding action against a Congress leader for supporting an independent candidate.

Mumbai: The primary mantra behind coalition politics is to compromise for the larger battle, however, both Congress and Shiv Sena (UBT) are yet to come to terms over the Sangli constituency which is yet again likely to become a bone of contention between the two.

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The bickering began on Thursday after Sena (UBT) objected to a post-election gathering where all the Congress leaders from the district were present, including Vishal Patil, who revolted against his party’s decision and contested as an independent candidate.

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Sena (UBT) district president Sanjay Vibhute demanded action against Patil and the Sangli Congress district chief Prithviraj Patil, for inviting Vishal to the gathering. He also threatened to sever ties with the Congress in the district if no action was taken.

The gathering was organised at a lawn near Sangli bypass where apart from Vishal, Palus-Kadegaon MLA Vishwajeet Kadam, who controls the Congress in Sangli, was also present along with other leaders from the district.

Despite Congress’ insistence on its traditional seat, Shiv Sena fielded Chandrahar Patil, a popular wrestler, for the Sangli Lok Sabha seat against sitting BJP MP Sanjaykaka Patil. The Sena (UBT) took the decision despite not having a strong presence in the district. Vishal chose to defy the party’s decision and contested the polls. The grand old party has yet to take any action against him.

“This gathering is nothing but a proof of official betrayal by the Congress. We ask Congress leadership to sack Prithviraj Patil for this act,” he demanded. He also questioned Congress’ integrity for not taking action against Vishal. “Does this mean that right from the district to the central leadership of Congress was standing behind Vishal Patil,” Vibhute remarked and threatened there wouldn’t be an alliance in Sangli for the upcoming state assembly polls if action was not taken against them.

Prithviraj Patil, however, clarified that the gathering was organised after the polls. “It was a post-poll programme where all the leaders from the party were invited. Vibhute made the statements in the backdrop of an election but we as MVA alliance have to contest many elections together in the coming future,” he said.

Prithviraj also asked Vibhute to reach out to his party leadership if he had any complaints. “It will be discussed and resolved by the leadership of both the respective parties,” he asserted.

The Shiv Sena (UBT) leadership has already expressed displeasure for no action against Vishal Patil. During the election campaign, the party also alleged that the Congress leaders were discreetly supporting Vishal’s candidature.

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