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Lok Sabha Elections 2019: Vishal Patil of Congress to fight on Swabhimani Shetkari Sanghatana’s ticket in Sangli

Raju Shetti made the announcement of Patil’s candidature in Sangli on Saturday. Patil will file his nomination on April 2

people Updated: Mar 31, 2019 16:30 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, Pune
Pune,Sangli,Lok Sabha Elections 2019
Vishal Patil (L) and Raju Shetti at a press conference in Sangli on Saturday.(UDAY DEOLEKAR/HT PHOTO)

Vishal Patil, grandson of late Maharashtra chief minister Vasantdada Patil, will be the candidate of the Swabhimani Shetkari Sanghatana (SSS) from the Sangli Lok Sabha seat. The Congress-Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) combine has allotted the seat to the Swabhimani Shetkari Sanghatana. Swabhimani Shetkari Sanghatana chief Raju Shetti made the announcement of Patil’s candidature in Sangli on Saturday.

“Patil will file his nomination on April 2,” Shetti said.

The announcement was made during a press meet by Shetti who was considering five names for the candidacy. The names included Vishal as well as Prithviraj Patil, son of Congress leader Gulabrao Patil. Prithviraj heads the Sangli unit of the Congress and was suggested as a possible candidate. He had the backing of Vishwajeet Kadam, son of another party leader late Patangrao Kadam. Vishwajeet had endorsed Prithviraj while pulling himself out of the race for Lok Sabha.

The Congress central coordination committee including KC Venugopal, general secretary; Madhusudan Mistry, Congress Committee’s poll observer for Maharashtra, and Mallikarjun Kharge, senior Congress leader, had granted permission to Vishal and Prithviraj to contest on SSS ticket while remaining in the party. A similar arrangement was carried out in Palghar and Satara between Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and Shiv Sena as well, according to Shetti.

Vishal was present at the press conference where Shetti announced him as the representative of 56 organisations and parties including Congress, Nationalist Congress Party, Swabhimani Shetkari Sanghatana, Republican Party of India (Kawade). The decision was taken in consultation with Congress’ Kharge and Ashok Chavan, NCP’s Sharad Pawar and Jayant Patil, said Shetti.

“Going away from Congress and fighting independently was not feasible for us. Moreover, separating from the party would not have served the purpose of uniting against the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP),” said Vishal. “Defeating the fascist factions is the aim of the alliance,” Shetti said.

Through the alliance, the united front has decided to fight all the 48 seats in Maharashtra. Vishal will fill the nomination form at 11 am on April 2. The alliance will be represented by SSS’s bat symbol.

Vishal had earlier announced that he will contest the Lok Sabha election either as a Congress candidate or as independent. Finally, it was decided during late-night talks between Shetti and senior Congress leader Prithviraj Chavan that Vishal will contest as SSS candidate, sources said. Sangli, a Congress bastion up to 2014, was allotted to the SSS as part of the seat-sharing deal between the Congress, NCP and other constituents of the opposition’s alliance.

Congress’ Pratik Patil, Vishal’s elder brother and a former Union minister, was defeated by Sanjay Kaka Patil of the BJP in the last general elections. It was the first defeat of the Congress in the constituency since 1962.

First Published: Mar 31, 2019 16:30 IST