Lok Sabha elections 2019: Congress workers protest in Sangli against seat sharing with farmers’ party

Congress party workers, on Friday, protested in Sangli to oppose the possibility of the Congress-Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) alliance’s support to a Swabhimani Shetkari Sanghatana candidate from the Sangli Lok Sabha constituency.

The party workers took to the streets after the current member of Parliament and Swabhimani Shetkari Sanghatana’s founder Raju Shetti sought the Sangli, Wardha or Buldhana seats to join the alliance.

While the NCP has extended support to Shetti in the Hatkanangale (Kolhapur) Lok Sabha constituency which he represents as a sitting candidate, Sangli and Wardha seats are with the Congress in the seat sharing between the Congress and the NCP.

The protests broke out in Sangli shortly after the alliance between Raju Shetti’s Swabhimani Party and the Congress was officially declared.

Prithviraj Patil, head of the Sangli unit of the Congress, said, “Local party workers are strongly against giving the Sangli Lok Sabha seat to any alliance partner. The party workers’ protest has ended, but we will not give our seat.” He said the party leaders were leaving immediately for Delhi to meet the party high command. “Sangli is a stronghold of the Congress and we will definitely win,” he said.

Meanwhile, Vishal Patil, grandson of Vasantdada Patil, one of the early chief ministers of Maharashtra, said the decision would now be made by the party headquarters in Delhi.

“Yes, there was a protest by party workers. Shetti is insistent on Wardha, but Charulata Tokas, Maharashtra Pradesh Mahila Congress president, is against that,” said Vishal. “I’m sure our party workers understand that Shetti is important to the party, as are the farmers he represents, in the larger picture,” he added.

Tokas is the daughter of another party senior, Prabha Rao, and is reportedly an aspirant from Wardha Lok Sabha constituency.

First Published:
Mar 16, 2019 03:28 IST

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