Will resign as per orders from Cong. top brass: Vikhe-Patil

first_imgMaharashtra’s senior Congressman and Leader of Opposition (LoP) Radhakrishna Vikhe-Patil on Thursday termed the comments about his late father made by Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) president Sharad Pawar as one reason behind his son, Sujay, joining the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).Addressing a press conference in the Maharashtra Congress office, Mr. Vikhe-Patil said the decision to resign from the LoP’s post will be taken by the party high-command and not by someone from the State. He said it was his son’s personal decision to join the BJP on Tuesday. He will be contesting from Ahmednagar south seat.“Mr. Pawar’s comment against my father [Balasaheb Vikhe-Patil] was unwarranted. If he despises my family so much, I would rather not campaign for the NCP candidate in Ahmednagar,” Mr. Vikhe-Patil said. It was unfair to comment on someone who is no more, he said. Whether the Congress leader will campaign for other NCP candidates in rest of the Maharashtra is yet to be decided. “We have the election campaign committee, which will decide on who will campaign where. I will do whatever is told to me,” he said. At a press conference in Pune, Mr. Pawar said he had ensured the defeat of late Balasaheb Vikhe-Patil in the 1991 election, as he was contesting as an independent against Congress candidate Yashvantrao Gadakh. Later, Balasaheb Vikhe-Patil approached the High Court against Mr. Pawar and Mr. Gadakh. The HC imposed a ban on Mr. Pawar from contesting the polls for six years. The NCP chief fought against the ban in the Supreme Court and it was later lifted. The Vikhe-Patil and Pawar families have maintained a political feud for decades and Mr. Pawar’s statement three days ago reopened some old wounds. The NCP rejected Mr. Vikhe-Patil’s argument saying Mr. Pawar had not belittled anyone through his statement. “He only stated the facts. There was nothing demeaning in it. It was an order from then Congress president Rajiv Gandhi to ensure the defeat of Balasaheb Vikhe-Patil. As a Congressman, Mr. Pawar followed it,” NCP MLC Jitendra Awhad said. Meanwhile, Mr. Vikhe-Patil dismissed the possibility of his son’s candidature on the BJP ticket affecting the overall performance of Congress and NCP nominees in the State.last_img