Senior Congressman Harshvardhan Patil attacks NCP; moves closer to BJP
The Indapur assembly constituency is located next to Baramati, hometown of NCP president Sharad Pawar, and falls under the Baramati Lok Sabha constituency.Updated: Sep 04, 2019 18:20 IST
Senior Congress leader and former minister Harshvardhan Patil on Wednesday launched a fierce attack on alliance partner Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) while heaping praise on Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, giving clear indications of his preference for the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). He said he would announce his decision by September 10.
Patil was speaking at a public rally of his supporters at the Agriculture Produce Market Committee’s (APMC) grounds at Indapur in Pune district to decide on his future course of action. He said there was no clarity from both Congress and NCP about the Indapur assembly seat in his hometown and thus he was being forced to decide on the future.
During the rally, Patil’s supporters openly raised slogans praising Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the BJP. While addressing his supporters, Patil said, “I will take a decision that will reflect what is in your mind. We will decide by September 10th.”
The Indapur assembly constituency is located next to Baramati, hometown of NCP president Sharad Pawar, and falls under the Baramati Lok Sabha constituency. A minister for four consecutive terms in Congress-NCP governments, Patil has had a warm rapport with the NCP president.
However, during the 2014 assembly elections, Pawar’s nephew and senior NCP leader Ajit Pawar, had insisted on putting up a candidate against Patil. The results were dramatic as the NCP candidate Mama Bharne defeated Patil and laid claim to the Indapur assembly seat.
“The BJP had offered to nominate me from the Baramati Lok Sabha constituency against the sitting MP, Supriya Sule. I, however, remained loyal to our alliance partner and gave the fullest assistance. During the Lok Sabha campaign, NCP leaders had promised to allot the Indapur seat to the Congress in the seat-sharing. However, after the results, not a single NCP leader has kept his word,” he said.
Patil said that the NCP was being unfair to him by not vacating the Indapur seat in his favour. “Now there is no need to worry about the NCP which has opposed us consistently. We will challenge the NCP,” he said.
Patil praised the BJP and said he was receiving the fullest respect from the BJP leadership and had an excellent working relationship with chief minister Fadnavis even though the Congress was in the opposition.
“Very soon I will assess the mood of my supporters decide by September 10,” he said.