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HomeEditorialSambhaji Patil Nilangekar pledges to fulfill dream of Modi’s India

Sambhaji Patil Nilangekar pledges to fulfill dream of Modi’s India

Sambhaji Patil Nilangekar is a member of 13th Maharashtra Legislative Assembly from Nilanga. Recently, Nilangekar a champion of BJP came to limelight with his Mahayagya. He got married some 1,000 of couples that day. Looking at the drought in Latur, Maharashtra he did prayers for rains. Also, he came into controversy through his own people but he ignored them and walked his path. Nilangekar is a strong mascot of BJP who is on the path of fulfilling Modiji’s dream of Sabka Saath Sabka Vikas. At the same time, he contributes every bit to the betterment of the state and his constituency. He is a member of BJP and RSS and also the General Secretary of the Maharashtra State Unit of the BJP. On July 8, 2016, he was sworn in as a cabinet minister in Devendra Fadnavis government.

Forty Two-year old Sambhaji Patil once created history by winning against his own grandfather, eight-time MLA and former Chief Minister, late Shivajirao Pati Nilangekar. They were having some property dispute and family tussle.

Sambhaji, who has a commercial pilot’s license, joined politics after his father’s demise; politics was not new to him but then he refused to contest the last Lok Sabha election saying that he wanted to start his political career as an MLA. After that the ticket was given to his mother. For the justice of factory workers he stood against his own grandfather. People were troubled with unemployment and non-payment of crop insurance those days. Somewhere the displeasure in public against senior Nilangekar was visible; perhaps this is what motivated Sambhaji Nilangekar to blow a bugle against his grandfather. Sambhaji then formed his own political party — the Nilanga Vikas Aghadi to stand against his grandfather.

His grandfather and his family had to part ways for various reasons, but meanwhile his father died in 1999. Economic prosperity and development was missing in his constituency. Water was a major issue, especially in summer. Drought was severe. The Ambulga cooperative sugar factory, run by Patil Nilangekar, was closed and about Rs. 4.5 crores is outstanding to farmers and shareholders were due. About 8,000 farmers were not paid for their sugarcane. People were very angry not so much with the Congress but his grandfather. Nilanga epitomizes the problems in Latur and to a larger extent in Marathwada. Despite the numerous educational institutions, the taluka has few bright students. While the Latur model of developing secondary education has worked to some extent, it has not spread to other parts of the region.

Sambhaji’s mother, Roopatai Patil, who is Nilangekar’s daughter-in-law, had won from Latur on a BJP-Sena ticket in the Lok Sabha elections, defeating the Union Home Minister, Shivraj Patil, by over 30,000 votes in 2004. Later on, she advised her son to contest election not only to defeat his rival but also to make sure he even loses his deposit. Roopatai Patil was very strong lady and was strong-minded to aim Congress mukt Nilanga. After this humiliating defeat, Shivaji Rao Patil who neglected villagers started visiting them to earn good will, but by then Sambhaji was already their hero. So, Shivaji Rao had to accept people’s mandate. The out dated domination of politicians gave way to a more meaningful representation by choosing Sambhaji. Thereafter, he never stopped doing hard work, he became one of the strongest BJP cadre and people leaders.

Since 2014, and especially after Munde and Deshmukh’s demise, the state politics especially Latur and Nilanga changed drastically in the hands of next generation. The appointment of Pankaja Palve, daughter of Munde, to head the youth wing of the party was being debated in hushed tones. Munde supporters, however, justified the appointment. Pankaja, an MLA from Beed district, is being seen as a counter to Supriya Sule of the NCP and MLA Praniti Shinde and minister for women and child welfare Varsha Gaikwad of Congress who have been pulling women to their parties. Pankaja later on became rebellious and started attacking Devendra Fadnavis on various occasions. At the same time, Fadnvis started ignoring her, after several controversies rumored about her. The public spat between chief minister Devendra Fadnavis and rural development minister Pankaja Munde over reallocation of portfolios of ministers has become the highlight of the long-awaited expansion of the state cabinet. As he effected a reshuffle of portfolios headed by ministers in his team, Fadnavis sprung a surprise by taking away some departments held by influential ministers such as Munde, education minister Vinod Tawde and housing minister Prakash Mehta. Fadnavis took water conservation and employment guarantee scheme departments away from Munde and reallocated them to two new ministers, Ram Shinde and Sambhaji Nilangekar.

Even Sambhaji Nilangekar too came in controversy, he was found to be closely associated with a company listed as a willful defaulter by the Bank of Maharashtra. He was guarantor for a loan that was a non-performing asset (NPA) and declared as a “fraud account” with an outstanding balance of Rs 49.29 crores owed to two state-owned banks — Bank of Maharashtra and Union Bank of India. Further, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) last year filed a chargesheet in a case of cheating lodged by the banks after finding that the mortgage deed papers for the loan had been tampered with. The CBI as an accused also names Nilangekar. The accused have been charged under sections 409 and 420 of the Indian Penal Code for siphoning off funds and cheating. Also, accused in the case are other guarantors and an official of the sub-registrar’s office in Nilanga. However, Nilangekar’s lawyer Chandrashekhar Sabnis claimed that it was the bank that manipulated the original deed submitted with the sub- registrar. He said land was not a part of the mortgage agreement.

He said the unit’s problems started when the banks failed to release funds that were agreed upon when the loan was approved. Sambhaji was merely a guarantor, and that the dispute over property, which the bank says was offered as collateral, was politically motivated. The CBI investigations showed that the property offered as collateral at the time of sanctioning the loan was not the property eventually mortgaged. Nilangekar said the dispute over the property arose because his grandfather, a former Congress chief minister Shivajirao Patil Nilangekar, had challenged its ownership and staked claim on the property.

Anyway, leaving all the controversies and disappointments aside, Fadnavis team has only few months in hand to show the performance to the people.

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Dr Vaidehi Taman
Dr Vaidehi an Accredited Journalist from Maharashtra is bestowed with Honourary Doctorate in Journalism, Investigative Journalist, Editor, Ethical Hacker, Philanthropist, and Author. She is Editor-in-Chief of Newsmakers Broadcasting and Communications Pvt. Ltd. for 11 years, which features an English daily tabloid – Afternoon Voice, a Marathi web portal – Mumbai Manoos, monthly magazines like Hackers5, Beyond The News (international) and Maritime Bridges. She is also an EC Council Certified Ethical Hacker, Certified Security Analyst and is also a Licensed Penetration Tester which caters to her freelance jobs.

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