Lok Sabha elections 2019: Major setback for Congress in Sangli as Pratik Patil resigns

While Pratik and his brother Vishal were initially aspiring for Lok Sabha ticket from Sangli, the party is likely to give the seat to Swabhimani Shetkari Sanghatana, as a part of the seat-sharing arrangement, which has caused disappointment among party workers.
Vishal Patil (left, foreground) leans in to Pratik Patil in Sangli on Sunday, where Pratik announced that he is leaving the Congress party. Pratik and Vishal are brothers and Vishal might still contest the Sangli Lok Sabha seat.(HT photo)
Vishal Patil (left, foreground) leans in to Pratik Patil in Sangli on Sunday, where Pratik announced that he is leaving the Congress party. Pratik and Vishal are brothers and Vishal might still contest the Sangli Lok Sabha seat.(HT photo)
Updated on Mar 25, 2019 02:49 PM IST
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Hindustan Times, Pune | By

Pratik Patil, Congress leader from Sangli, and former Union minister resigned from the party on Sunday, a move seen as a major jolt to the party in western Maharashtra.

Pratik Patil, grandson of former chief minister of Maharashtra, the late Vasantdada Patil, said, “Congress party does not need me and my family members anymore.”

While Pratik and his brother Vishal were initially aspiring for Lok Sabha ticket from Sangli, the party is likely to give the seat to Swabhimani Shetkari Sanghatana, as a part of the seat-sharing arrangement, which has caused disappointment among party workers.

“I am resigning from the party today (Sunday) and will concentrate on social work and spread Vasantdada’s thoughts and beliefs. It is my final decision and I am not going to change it,” said Pratik.

“ I do not need the party’s name to continue Vasantdada’s legacy,” Pratik added.

Pratik also asked Vishal to prepare for contesting the upcoming Lok Sabha polls. “I have asked Vishal to file nomination papers. If Congress supports Vishal’s candidature, well and good, otherwise he can contest independently,” said Pratik.

In the same event, Vishal said, “I have decided to file my nomination. The party will have to change its decision.”

As Vishal is set to enter into fray and Congress is likely to give the seat to Swabhimani Shetkari Sanghatana, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) may have an upper hand in Sangli, according to political observers.

Pratik’s announcement came just when Congress and Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) were holding their first campaign rally in western Maharashtra, at Karad where Sharad Pawar and Prithviraj Chavan among others were present.

In Sangli, the Patil family is known to be bête noirs of Vishwajeet Kadam, whose father late Patangrao Kadam was a veteran Congressman. Pratik Patil was twice elected as Lok Sabha member of Parliament (MP) though he lost elections in 2014.

Sangli was once the stronghold of Congress, which was invincible here till 2014, when Narendra Modi wave helped BJP candidate Sanjaykaka Patil sweep the polls.

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Wednesday, May 25, 2022