Senior Congressman Harshavardhan Patil on Wednesday hit out at Sharad Pawar’s Nationalist Congress Party (NCP), dubbing its leadership as “scheming” and “shifty”.
Addressing a meeting of his followers in his stronghold Indapur in Pune district, Mr. Patil was lavish in his praise of Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis while heaping censure on Mr. Pawar saying NCP had “insulted him” and had used him for their political ends.
While political observers saw this as a strong indication of Mr. Patil joining the Bharatiya Janata Party, he stopped short of a formal announcement on this.
Mr. Patil, a four-time MLA from Indapur, lost the 2014 Assembly elections by a slender margin to the NCP’s Dattatrey Bharne. The Congress and NCP had contested those elections separately.
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Despite this, he had supported NCP MP Supriya Sule (Mr. Pawar’s daughter) to ensure her victory from the Baramati Lok Sabha seat this year in the hope that the party would back his candidacy in the upcoming Assembly polls from Indapur, which is a segment of the Baramati Lok Sabha seat.
However, the NCP’s disinclination to cut the ticket of their sitting MLA (Mr. Bharne) and support Mr. Patil’s candidacy has rankled the Congressman.