Vikhe-Patil’s son joins BJP

ST CORRESPONDENT
Wednesday, 13 March 2019

This move by Radhakrishna Vikhe-Patil’s son is a major setback for Congress

MUMBAI: Dr Sujay Vikhe-Patil, son of the leader of the opposition in the State, Radhakrishna Vikhe-Patil, joined Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) on Tuesday. It is said to be a major setback for the Congress in Ahmednagar. Sujay Vikhe-Patil was welcomed into BJP by Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis and other senior leaders of the party.

Dr Sujay Vikhe-Patil, the son of senior Congress leader Radha Krishna Vikhe Patil, has been upset over not being fielded by the party from Ahmednagar which is considered the stronghold of the Vikhe-Patil family, of which Sujay belongs to the fourth-generation. Dr Sujay is a practising neurosurgeon and an aspirant for Lok Sabha candidate from Ahmednagar. He is working in the constituency for the last few months.

Ahmednagar is NCP’s seat and Dilip Gandhi from BJP was elected as MP from the constituency in 2014. After the Congress-NCP alliance, Congress was hoping that the NCP will leave the claim on the seat for Congress, especially for Dr Sujay, but the NCP had turned down a request by Radhakrishna Vikhe-Patil to leave aside the Ahmednagar seat for his son.

Dr Sujay and the entire Vikhe-Patil family was disgruntled over the NCP’s stand and tried till last minute to convince NCP leaders. This could not happen and Dr Sujay decided to join BJP and contest from Ahmednagar. 

Earlier, Dr Sujay announced that he will contest independently if he does not get ticket from the party. Finally, he joined BJP on Tuesday with his supporters from Ahmednagar. Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis welcomed Dr Sujay in the presence of BJP State President Raosaheb Danve, Chandrakant Patil, Girish Mahajan, MLA Shivaji Kardile and Babanrao Pachpute. 

Fadnavis said that Dr Sujay’s name will be recommended for Ahmednagar seat. “I hope that his name will be finalised by our parliamentary committee,” Fadnavis said. 

Dr Sujay said that he will work for the BJP and increase the party’s network in the district. “It was very tough for me to take the decision against my parents and my family,” he said. 

His entry into the BJP was opposed by the local leaders of BJP as they wanted him to work for the BJP before he represents the party in the election. Dr Sujay’s entry in BJP is a major setback for the Congress, as well as the NCP-Congress alliance. Dr Sujay is said to be a powerful and popular leader among youths in Ahmednagar.  

WHAT THE OTHER LEADERS SAY...
“The youths of the nation are coming to BJP and Dr Sujay represents the youth section. Ahmednagar will be BJP’s bastion now and there is no condition put before Dr Sujay, so he is free to work in the district,” the chief minister said. 

“I am not going to resign after my son joined BJP. I have already clarified my stand to my senior leaders. I will be a loyal supporter of the Congress and will follow the orders of the party high command. Dr Sujay wants to contest from Ahmednagar as a Congress candidate, but NCP was not ready. Hence, Sujay had no other option,” Radhakrishna Vikhe-Patil said. “Why should be we leave the seat for Congress leaders’ kids’ obstinate demand,” questioned NCP Chief Sharad Pawar. 

“There is a gang who steal kids of political leaders, so all political leaders in the State be careful,” said NCP leader Jitendra Avhad. “Radhakrishna Vikhe-Patil should join Shiv Sena and strengthen the Shiv Sena-BJP alliance. After Balasaheb Vikhe-Patil and Radhakrishna, the third generation of Vikhe-Patil is joining the Shiv Sena-BJP alliance. Dr Sujay’s grandfather and father both were Union and State ministers respectively during the Shiv Sena-BJP regime. Now, Radhakrishna Vikhe-Patil has lost his moral right to criticise the government,” said Shiv Sena spokesperson Sanjay Raut.

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