Maharashtra Congress MLA resigns; set to join BJP

Our Bureau | | Updated on: Jun 04, 2019

Senior Congress leader in Maharashtra and former leader of opposition in Legislative Assembly Radhakrishna Vikhe Patil (L) submits his resignation to speaker Haribhau Bagade (R), in Mumbai.

In a major political development in Maharashtra, senior Congress leader Radhakrishna Vikhe Patil on Tuesday resigned as the Member of the Legislative Assembly (MLA) and is all set to join the BJP.

Another Congress MLA and former Minister Abdul Sattar also quit as a legislator and told media he will also join the BJP along with 10 other MLAs. Sattar is a close confidant of Maharashtra Congress president Ashok Chavan. Sattar represented Sillod, a municipality in Aurangabad district.

Until the Parliamentary elections, Radhakrishna Vikhe Patil was the Leader of Opposition in the Maharashtra Assembly. But with the Congress’s power waning in Maharashtra, he chose to resign from his post.

His son Sujay Vikhe Patil joined the BJP in March and successfully contested from the Ahmednagar south constituency.

BJP party sources said a few more Congress MLAs are also expected to join the BJP. Radhakrishna Vikhe Patil has been in constant touch with Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis and Water Resources Minister Girish Mahajan.

Mahajan has earned his reputation as the chief pointsman of Fadnavis. Given the seniority of the former Congress leader, he may also be accommodated in the Maharashtra Cabinet in the upcoming expansion.

On Tuesday morning, Radhakrishna Vikhe Patil, who has been five-time MLA from Shirdi in Ahmednagar district, met Maharashtra Legislative Assembly speaker Haribhau Bagade and formally handed his resignation.

Blames situation

After his resignation, Vikhe Patil told media that the situation has made him resign. He said he had not even campaigned for the party during the Lok Sabha election. The Congress high command did give him an opportunity by making him the Leader of Opposition. He tried to do his best but the situation made him resign.

Radhakrishna Vikhe Patil hails from an influential political family. His father, late Balasaheb Vikhe-Patil, was a well-known rival of NCP chief Sharad Pawar.

He had won the Lok Sabha elections in 1998 on Shiv Sena ticket and even became Union Minister for Heavy Industries in the NDA government. But he returned to the Congress in 2004.

Published on June 04, 2019
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