BJP MP Nana Patole resigns from Lok Sabha after criticising senior leaders
BJP MP Nana Patole made headlines recently by publicly criticising Prime Minister Narendra Modi, saying he did not like to be asked questions.india Updated: Dec 08, 2017 22:13 IST
In a major setback to the BJP before the first phase of polling in Gujarat, the party’s rebel Lok Sabha member from Bhandara-Gondia Nana Patole on Friday quit from its primary membership as well as the Lok Sabha.
Patole said he took the step in protest against the party’s “casual” approach towards farmers in the state and the “style of functioning” of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Sources revealed he met Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi a couple of days ago and is Congress-bound now. Patole also supported party rebel and former Union minister Yashwant Sinha, who resorted to a sit-in agitation to highlight farmers’ plight in Akola two days ago.
The rebel BJP leader also demanded a joint parliamentary committee (JPC) probe into recent farmers’ deaths due to pesticide poisoning in Vidarbha. He also met Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray on the issue a few days ago. At least 50 farmers have died due to suspected pesticide poisoning in Vidarbha since August this year and most of the deaths were reported from Yavatmal, a major cotton-growing district.
Since criticising Modi for ending intra-party democracy, Patole has been organising farmers’ convention in several areas in the state on the agrarian crisis. He was clearly losing patience in the BJP as his credentials of an OBC leader did not attract any extra weightage within the organisation.
Hailing from the Kunbi community at Sukli village in Sakoli taluka of Bhandara, Patole entered politics by winning a zilla parishad seat in 1990.
He then had his eyes set on the state assembly and as a Congress nominee, got elected as MLA from Sakoli in Bhandara district in 1999 and 2004.
Patole then left the Congress, cribbing that the party was not doing enough for farmers.
In 2009, he first contested LokSabha elections as an independent candidate but lost by over two lakh votes to NCP stalwart Praful Patel. However, he drew solace from the fact that he secured more votes than BJP’s Shishupal Patle. Thus, he switched over to the BJP, contested assembly elections and won from Sakoli after six months.
In the 2014 elections, he defeated Praful Patel by a margin of 1.49 lakh votes.
It is said Patole’s move to resign from the Lok Sabha and the primary membership of the party came after BJP state president Raosaheb Danve served him a show cause notice for supporting Sinha’s agitation in Akola.
Danve had also spoken to him when he criticised the Prime Minister and warned him to desist from such acts.