Former BJP MP from Bhandra-Gondia constituency (Maharashtra) Nana Patole joined Congress party today (January 11, 2018) in New Delhi, where party president Rahul Gandhi welcomed him. Patole quit the BJP in December 2017 after accusing PM Narendra Modi of turning a blind eye towards farmers’ apathy in Vidarbha.
In a post on its twitter handle, the Congress wrote, “Congress President Rahul Gandhi warmly welcomes Mr Nana Patole, Ex-MP from BJP, to the Congress family.” Maharashtra Congress chief Ashok Chavan, Opposition leader in Maharashtra Assembly Radhakrishna Vikhe-Patil along with Congress’ Mumbai unit head Sanjay Nirupam can also be seen in the photo, besides Mohan Prakash and Patole.
“Yes, I have joined the Congress. I will take whatever responsibility the party gives me, either at the national or the state level,” Patole told PTI over phone from Yavatmal.
Patole, who had also submitted his resignation as BJP MP from Lok Sabha on Dec 8, 2017, had joined the BJP in 2014 after defeating NCP heavyweight Praful Patel by a margin of 1,50,000 votes. As per a report in The Indian Express, Patole had confessed that Ashok Chavan had approached him to join Congress. Patole had then replied by saying, “As of now, I am not joining any party, although Ashok Chavan has given me an offer to join the Congress. And it is not necessary that I rejoin any other party. I may even float my own”
Patole had previously quit the Congress party citing to negligence of Vidarbha farmers and contested the 2009 Lok Sabha elections as independent candidate. “Patole is back home. He has returned unconditionally, without seeking any post,” a party insider from Congress said.
Congress President Rahul Gandhi warmly welcomes Mr Nana Patole, Ex-MP from BJP, to the Congress family. pic.twitter.com/LZpHtlBS6Q
— Congress (@INCIndia) January 11, 2018