Kolhapur: Maharashtra Pradesh Congress leaders hinted it will claim on Kolhapur Lok Sabha constituency from Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) in 2019 poll. Kolhapur, once bastion of Congress is under control of NCP in LS since 1999, from the foundation of NCP — political outfit led by Sharad Pawar.
There are 12 LS constituencies in Western Maharashtra region. In 2014 Modi wave, Congress could not open an account in this region. Satej Patil, former minister and presently member of State Legislative Council (MLC) has hold on Kolhapur and had single handed grabbed power at Kolhapur Municipal Corporation despite Bharatiya Janata Party is in power at State and Centre. Even though senior BJP leader Chandrakant Patil hails from Kolhapur, Patil kept his hold in local body authorities.
On the other hand, Sadashiv Mandlik of NCP is representing Kolhapur LS from 1999. Before formation of NCP, Congress had controlled on this LS constituency since 1952 till 1998 except exception of 1952, 1957 and 1977. In a seat sharing formula, Kolhapur is shared with NCP since 1999. Satej Patil, during Jan Sangharsh rally held at Kolhapur on Friday demanded Kolhapur should get back to Congress in next LS. “If we will get back Kolhapur, Congress will definitely win this seat,” said Patil.
Harshwardhan Patil, former Congress minister who was guardian minister of Kolhapur for ten years during Congress-NCP regime too said, “Congress should ask NCP to share Kolhapur constituency with Congress. It was our bastion and we will retain it,” said Patil. Ashok Chavan, president of Maharashtra Pradesh Congress Party (MPCC), Radhakrishna Vikhe-Patil, Leader of Opposition (LoP), Balasaheb Thorat, invitee of All India Congress Committee (AICC), Prithviraj Chavan, former chief minister though did not push demand of Satej Patil, everybody praised his preparation for success in changing atmosphere in the city in favour of Congress.
The primary meetings held between Congress and NCP in Mumbai recently in which decision to go with alliance was taken. Ashok Chavan and Jayant Patil, state chief of NCP had clarified seat sharing discussion is yet to begin. NCP chief Sharad Pawar had on Monday said, final decision about disputed seats will be taken at Delhi. Chavan had said the seat sharing formula between both the parties will be change and there are possibilities of exchange of some seats. Meanwhile, Kolhapur, Hatkanagale, Sangli, Satara, Pune, Baramati, Maval, Shirur, Solapur, Madha, Ahmednagar and Shirdi are 12 LS constituencies in Western Maharashtra.