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Lok Sabha elections 2024: Congress loyalist family member joins BJP

Updated on: 31 March,2024 06:48 AM IST  |  Mumbai
Dharmendra Jore |

Shivraj Patil Chakurkar’s daughter-in-law Archana’s move comes as defection rumours abound in state ahead of polls

Lok Sabha elections 2024: Congress loyalist family member joins BJP

Dr Archana Patil joins the BJP in the presence of Deputy CM Devendra Fadnavis and the party’s state chief Chandrashekhar Bawankule in Mumbai. Pic/Sayyed Sameer Abedi

Key Highlights

  1. Yet another family that has served Congress for decades saw a relative shifting loyalties
  2. This time around it was Dr Archana Patil
  3. Deputy CM Devendra Fadnavis inducted Dr Patil into the party

Yet another family that has served the Indian National Congress for decades saw a relative shifting loyalties to the Bharatiya Janata Party on Saturday. This time around, it was Dr Archana Patil, the daughter-in-law of former Union Home and Defence Minister and former Lok Sabha speaker, Shivraj Patil Chakurkar.

Deputy CM Devendra Fadnavis inducted Dr Patil into the party amid rumours that the state was going to witness another political churning on Saturday. Speculations were rife over the intentions of top leaders, including the opposition leader in the Council, Ambadas Danve.

Elected representatives from Marathwada, particularly from Latur—that Shivraj Patil represented in the Lok Sabha for seven terms before he was defeated in 2004 by the BJP’s Rupa Patil Nilangekar, a Congress leader and ex-CM Shivajirao Patil’s daughter-in-law—were present. 

The Nilangekars were the first from Marathawada’s political clans to split from the Congress to the BJP. Recently, ex-CM Shankarrao Chavan’s son Ashok—a former chief minister himself—joined the Congress. On the other hand, the late Vilasrao Deshmukh’s Latur-based family, which features two MLAs, has remained with the Congress.

Fadnavis said Dr Patil’s entry will help BJP candidate Sudhakar Shrungare to win with a big margin from Latur’s seat. “She has decided to transition from the social sector to politics, and in turn, join the BJP. I believe that while working with the BJP, Dr Patil shall take forward the rich legacy of senior Congress leader Shivraj Patil Chakurkar, who is an honest and value-oriented politician,” he said.

Danve dismisses defection

The Uddhav Thackeray-Shiv Sena faction’s Opposition leader in the Council, Ambadas Danve, addressed a hurried presser early Saturday morning, to dismiss rumours of his shift to the BJP. “I’m a committed worker of the Shiv Sena. I follow Balasaheb Thackeray’s ideology. There is no question of my defection to any party, particularly the BJP,” he said, blaming the media for this speculation.

Danve admitted to being upset when he was denied a Lok Sabha ticket from Chhatrapati Sambhajinagar. “But that ended immediately. Chandrakant Khaire [the chosen candidate] is my senior leader; I will campaign for him,” Danve said.

Fadnavis rejected claims that the BJP had anything to do with the rumours surrounding Danve. “We’re not doing any such operation [sic]. And, when we undertake an operation like this, you wouldn’t know a thing about it. If you say you know about it, then it’s not our operation,” said the Deputy CM.

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