Congress picks ex-MP Rajni Patil for Rajya Sabha bypoll from Maharashtra
The All India Congress Committee has picked former MP and party’s in charge of Jammu and Kashmir Rajni Patil as party candidate for Rajya Sabha bypoll to be held on October 4. The bypoll was necessitated due to the demise of party’s sitting MP Rajiv Satav in May this year. Significantly, Patil was recommended for nomination to Maharashtra legislative Council as one among 12 persons appointed by the Governor.
Patil, 62, who is currently party’s in-charge of Jammu and Kashmir, served as Rajya Sabha MP for five years till April 2018 on the seat fallen vacant after the demise of former Union minister Vilasrao Deshmukh. She was elected to Lok Sabha in 1996 from Beed as a Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) candidate. She is considered to be close to party president Sonia Gandhi and has been preferred over other aspirants including Mukul Wasnik, Milind Deora among others. The party has believably picked the Marathwada (central Maharashtra) leader for the seat represented by Satav, who too was from the region.
The move, however, has raised eyebrows in the state unit of Congress as Patil’s name has also featured in the list of 12 members recommended by the state government for nomination to legislative Council from governor’s quota. “The names are under consideration by Raj Bhavan and if not replaced in time by taking other two ruling parties into confidence, the party may lose chance to appoint its four leaders to upper house. This may lead to further clashes, same as the differences over the election to the post of speaker, within the ruling alliance,” a state Congress leader said.
Initially, Pradnya, wife of Rajiv Satav, too was in the race but the party has reportedly decided to field her in Lok Sabha or Assembly polls in 2024. “This has been discussed with the Satav family. The sympathy after the death of Rajiv, who was a dynamic party leader, may play in favour of his widow in the general polls,” said a Marathwada leader.
Satav, who was 46, died due to the post-Covid complications in Pune in May.
The bypoll will be held on October 4 if necessary, while the last day to file the nomination is September 22. The BJP has fielded its Mumbai unit general secretary Sanjeev Upadhyay.
The contestant is elected by the members of Assembly, where the rulling Maharasthra Vikas Aghadi has majority.