As son joins BJP, Cong’s Vikhe Patil gets Sena MP’s invite

Mumbai, Mar 12 (PTI) Hours after his son Sujay joined the ruling BJP Tuesday, senior Congress leader Radhakrishna Vikhe Patel got an offer from the Shiv Sena to join it.
Rajya Sabha MP and senior Sena leader Sanjay Raut, who invited Vikhe Patil to join his party, also reminded the latter that he and his father were once ministers in the Uddhav Thackeray-led party’s government.
Shirdi MLA Vikhe Patil, also Leader of Opposition in the Maharashtra Assembly, is the son of veteran politician and former Union Minister of State for Finance Minister Balasaheb Vikhe Patil.
“Radhakrishna Vikhe-Patil should join the Shiv Sena and make our alliance (with the BJP) stronger. Both he and his father were ministers in Sena government. It is good if the third generation of the family is also a part of the alliance,” Raut said.
Sujay Vikhe Patil had earlier in the day joined the BJP in presence of chief minister Devendra Fadnavis after the Sharad Pawar-led NCP refused to relinquish its claim on the Ahmedanagar Lok Sabha seat for him.
Reacting to Sujay’s entry into the BJP, Sena spokesperson Neelam Gorhe told reporters that the former’s father now did not have the right to remain LoP in the state Assembly.
“Radhakrishna Vikhe Patil should resign (as LoP) on moral grounds,” Gorhe said.
She further claimed the Congress never analysed Vikhe Patil’s performance in the Assembly or else former Maharashtra chief minister Prithviraj Chavan would have been given the post of LoP long back.
“This shows there is political bankruptcy in the Congress,” she claimed.
Meanwhile, senior BJP leader and Maharashtra Finance minister Sudhir Mungantiwar said several Congress and NCP leaders were eager to join the BJP.
“Except Ashok Chavan and Prithviraj Chavan, almost every important leader of the Congress is willing to join the BJP,” Mungantiwar claimed.
Meanwhile, NCP spokesperson Nawab Malik said his party isn’t suprised at Sujay joining the BJP.
“Rajmata Vijaya Raje Scindia was in the BJP while (her son) Madhavrao Scindia was in the Congress. Vasundhara Raje (her daughter) was (BJP) chief minister of Rajasthan while Jyotiraditya Scindia (Madhavrao’s son) is a Congress leader.
If Vikhe Patil’s son joins the BJP, it should not be looked at differently,” he said.
Malik further said as far as the Ahmednagar election was concerned, the party would fight with full strength against Sujay.
Meanwhile, a Congress source said, “Radhakrishna Vikhe Patil will not resign from the Congress. He will work hard in the upcoming elections for the party.”

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