Will Sharad Pawar make the 'son' shine?
Congress top brass request NCP chief to help out after Radhakrishna Vikhe Patil makes last ditch effort to keep son from joining BJP
A day before the son of Opposition leader in the assembly Sujay Vikhe Patil is expected to enter the BJP, his anxious father was seen making last ditch efforts to convince the Congress and ally NCP to facilitate the junior's Lok Sabha candidature from hometown Ahmednagar.
An embarrassed Radhakrishna Vikhe Patil met Congress high-command Sonia Gandhi in Delhi on Monday evening to pitch for his son who has told him he was appalled at the Congress's non-cooperation with regard to the demand for an official nomination. The son's adamant attitude and plain-speak has landed the father in a situation that cannot escape the scrutiny of the party bosses. There have been instances that Radhakrishna was accused of being over-friendly with CM Devendra Fadnavis and going easy in matters that needed a sharp attack on the government.
Even though hopes of Sujay's future in the Congress alliance are finally hinged on Sharad Pawar, his response earlier on Monday wasn't heartening at all. The Nationalist Congress Party boss said on Monday afternoon that Ahmednagar was NCP's seat and it wouldn't go to any other party in the seat-sharing agreement. "Sujay may go anywhere. What is his contribution to the constituency? We have defeated them earlier [this was in reference to the defeat of Sujay's grandfather, the late Balasaheb Vikhe Patil, who was Pawar's rival in his lifetime]. So, there is no point in claiming that Sujay will win here. Sujay has not contributed anything to our alliance whatsoever. It won't make any difference to us if he joins BJP," Pawar said, showing no interest in entertaining the Vikhe Patils.
However, Sonia and Rahul Gandhi are reported to have asked Pawar to rethink and find a way out before Sujays make his next move. There was no official confirmation on the development though.
Meanwhile, Sujay is expected to land in Mumbai on Tuesday morning. The BJP is all prepared to induct him in a grand show despite opposition from the supporters of its sitting MP, Dilip Gandhi, who protested when Fadnavis walked out of the party office on Monday morning.
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