Son of senior Congress leader joins BJP

#dailynews60 : Sujay Vikhe Patil, the son of senior Congress leader Radhakrishna Vikhe Patil, joined the BJP here Tuesday, ahead of the Lok Sabha polls.

His decision came after the Sharad Pawar-led NCP’s refusal to leave aside the AhmednagarLok Sabha seat.

Sujay Vikhe Patil, a neurosurgeon by profession and son of the Leader of Opposition in the state assembly, joined the BJP in the presence of Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis and state party chief Raosaheb Danve at an event held in south Mumbai.

Welcoming him into the BJP-fold, Fadnavis said his party’s parliamentary committee will recommend his name for the Ahmednagar Lok Sabha seat.

“When Sujay Vikhe Patil decided to join the BJP, he did not lay down any condition. We in the BJP believe in his capacity, and would recommend his name to the BJP’s central parliamentary committee,” he said.

Dilip Gandhi is the BJP’s sitting MP from Ahmednagar.

Maharashtra Congress president Ashok Chavan hit out at the BJP for inducting Sujay and dubbed it the ruling party’s “divide and break” policy.

“It is unfortunate that Sujay Vikhe Patil joined the BJP. The BJP’s divide and break policy with political parties is inappropriate. I condemn such politics of the BJP,” Chavan told a regional channel from Nanded.

Incidentally, Chavan’s father, former Maharashtra chief minister Shankarrao and Balasaheb Vikhe Patil, Sujay’s grandfather and former Union minister of state for finance, shared a good political and personal rapport.

Balasaheb Vikhe Patil represented the Ahmednagar-North Lok Sabha seat but after the delimitation of constituencies, it was reserved for the Scheduled Tribe (ST) candidate, making it ineligible for the family to contest from there.

As per the current seat-sharing formula between the two opposition parties, the Congress will contest the Shirdi Lok Sabha seat (previously known as Ahmednagar-North), while the NCP will field its candidate in Ahmednagar (previously Ahmednagar-South).

The Congress and the NCP lost both the seats in the 2014 Lok Sabha polls.

Earlier, Radhakrishna Vikhe Patil had expressed disappointment over the NCP’s refusal to exchange the Ahmednagar Lok Sabha seat with the Congress. He is yet to comment on his son joining the BJP.

Sujay said he did not consult his father before joining the BJP.