Maharashtra: Discontent in all camps

Maharashtra: Discontent in all camps

Nationalist Congress Party president Sharad Pawar, Congress president Rahul Gandhi, senior Congress leaders Mallikarjun Kharge, K C Venugopal, NCP leaders Supriya Sule and Praful Patel at former's residence, in New Delhi on February 13, 2019. PTI

Discontent is brewing in all the major parts of Maharashtra and several instances of leaders switching over to opposite camps are expected in the coming days.

Among those who are unhappy is Dr Sujay Vikhe-Patil, the son of senior Congress leader and Leader of Maharashtra Legislative Assembly Radhakrishna Vikhe-Patil, who is expected to join the BJP.

Sujay wants to contest the Ahmednagar Lok Sabha seat from the Congress, which is part of the NCP quota.

In the past, the NCP, led by former Union minister Sharad Pawar, had offered the seat to Sujay in case he contests on the NCP symbol.

The ball is now in Pawar's and Congress president Rahul Gandhi's court, even as BJP's troubleshooter Girish Mahajan, who is also the water resources minister, is in touch with Sujay.

Sujay, a neurosurgeon by profession, is the grandson of the late Balasaheb Vikhe-Patil, who joined the Shiv Sena briefly and became a minister in the Vajpayee government.

Another claimant for the Ahmednagar seat is BJP MP Dilip Gandhi, whose supporters, fearing that Sujay may be given the seat, raised slogans outside the state BJP office, embarrassing Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis.

Meanwhile, Sharad Sonawane, the only MLA from Raj Thackeray's MNS, joined the Shiv Sena. Sonawane, who represents Junnar in Pune district, was in touch with Shiv Sena president Uddhav Thackeray.

Meanwhile, Shiv Sena leader and Minister of State for Animal Husbandry and Fisheries Arjun Khotkar has said he would be contesting in the Jalna seat against state BJP president Raosaheb Patil Danve.

Efforts to retain Khotkar in the MNS has failed.

On the other hand, Pune-based developer Sanjay Kakade, who is a BJP-supported independent Rajya Sabha MP, has staked a claim for the Lok Sabha constituency of Pune, which is currently represented by BJP's Anil Shirole.

Apparently, he is in touch with old colleagues in NCP.

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