Maharashtra top minister’s flip-flop on contesting polls

Mumbai: A day after creating a flutter by publicly declaring he would not be contesting any election in the future, revenue minister Chandrakant Patil, from the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), made a U-turn, claiming the party will decide on his candidature.

Patil, a strong aspirant for the chief minister’s post, had on Thursday announced he would not contest forthcoming legislative council, assembly or parliamentary polls, as he is currently member of the Upper House. He made this announcement at an event in his home town, Kolhapur.

“I don’t want to contest Lok Sabha polls, assembly polls or for an MLC post. Henceforth, I will not contest any polls,” Patil had said. Patil’s announcement came as a shock to many as he was considered to be very close to BJP chief Amit Shah, known to be Shah’s eyes and ears in the Maharashtra government.

Patil is Number 2 in the state cabinet after Devendra Fadnavis. In fact, whenever there has been a buzz in political circles that Fadnavis could be replaced as CM, Patil’s name has cropped up as the alternative, as he is considered to be very close to Shah and also belongs to the Maratha community. On Friday, Patil, who was in Mumbai, claimed his remarks on Thursday were ‘spoken in a different context’ and he would contest the polls if his party wanted him to.

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Free Press Journal