Cracks emerge in Congress, NCP brass

Cracks emerge in Congress, NCP brass

Sujay Vikhe-Patil

Cracks seem to have emerged in the top leadership of the Congress and NCP in Maharashtra over Leader of Opposition Radhakrishna Vihke-Patil's son, Sujay Vikhe-Patil, joining the BJP.

Talking to reporters, Radhakrishna Vikhe-Patil, a former minister, targeted NCP supremo Sharad Pawar for the comments about his father the late Balasaheb Vikhe-Patil.

The political rivalry of the Vikhe-Patils of Ahmednagar and Pawars of Pune, the two neighbouring districts, exists for the last four decades.

On Monday, Pawar said the former Kopergaun seat (from which Ahmednagar was made) had gone to the NCP after the party had defeated Balasaheb.

Sujay will be contesting from Ahmednagar.

On Tuesday, Sujay joined the BJP in the presence of Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, state BJP president Raosaheb Patil-Danve and Water Resources Minister Girish Mahajan.

Radhakrishna has said he will not be going to Ahmednagar for the campaign.

"After Pawar saab's comments about my father, that question does not arise," he said.

Asked whether he would resign from the post, he said: "Whatever decision has to be taken had to be taken by the Congress high-command."

"I am distressed by Pawar saheb’s comments about my deceased father… He has so much animosity against my father even now.... even if I campaign, fresh suspicions will be raised," Radhakrishna said.

Referring to the statements by his political rival and Congress leader Balasaheb Thorat that the Congress did a lot for the Vikhe-Patil family and the Leader of Opposition owes an explanation to the party, Radhakrishna demanded to know whether Thorat was bigger than Congress.

"The party will decide," he said.

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