Former BJP MP Nana Patole, who resigned from BJP after being unhappy with the functioning of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s style, is likely to join Congress after Gujarat assembly polls. Patole, who had criticised the BJP for its failure to provide loan waiver to farmers, has joined hands with Congress president Rahul Gandhi to campaign for the party for Gujarat assembly polls. Patole had quit Congress in 2008 to join BJP. During the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, the BJP fielded him in the Bhandara-Gondia constituency, where he defeated NCP stalwart Praful Patel. After quitting BJP, Patole is keen to join Congress and according to sources he is interested in contesting the 2019 Assembly elections on the party’s ticket.
Patole had stated that Maharashtra Pradesh Congress Committee president Ashok Chavan had made an offer to him for joining Congress. Meanwhile, Chavan mentioned that the party will take a decision about this matter at the appropriate time. Patole also spoke to Rahul Gandhi and expressed his concern about the death of farmers in Maharashtra due to inhaling pesticides. He criticised PM Modi for using his OBC credentials for deriving political mileage during elections. Patole has assured Congress leadership to raise the issue of setting up OBC ministry and farmers in every district of Vidarbha while campaigning.
Praniti Shinde, Congress MLA said, “After Patole’s resignation, more BJP leaders are likely to rebel against the party. The reverse countdown of the party has begun and they will suffer severe setback in Gujarat election. Patole has taken a bold step to resign from BJP and I appreciate it. If Patole rejoins Congress then the party will derive benefit out of it as he had worked with the outfit earlier.”
Prataprao Jadhav, Shiv Sena MP said, “Patole has resigned from BJP as the party had failed to address the hardships faced by farmers. He has often raised the farmer’s welfare issue while working with BJP. Till now many leaders from opposition parties used to join BJP but the trend has reversed after Patole’s resignation. BJP MLA Ashish Deshmukh has already forwarded a letter to Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis demanding statehood for Vidharba. The leaders from BJP are raising their voice against the party. Since BJP has failed to deliver the promises made by it to people, leaders from the party are expressing their dissatisfaction against the outfit.”
Nawab Malik, NCP spokesperson said, “The resignation of Nana Patole from BJP shows that party leaders are upset with the functioning of the party. If a leader like Patole is campaigning for Congress in Gujarat then it will definitely help the party’s cause.”
Charan Waghmare, BJP MLA said, “The resignation of Nana Patole won’t have any impact on BJP instead the party will only gain if disgruntled leaders quit the outfit. Since Gujarat voters don’t recognise Patole hence his campaigning for Congress won’t work in favour of the party. There is no question of BJP supporting Praful Patel as the party had fielded Patole against Patel in Bhandara-Gondia constituency. Patole should not have joined Congress as he had quit the party by making allegations against Ashok Chavan. Now he has resigned from BJP by blaming CM Devendra Fadnavis. After quitting both Congress and BJP, Patole should do some self-introspection.”