Nagpur/New Delhi: Nana Patole, who resigned from the BJP and as an MP of Bhandara-Gondia constituency, on Thursday formally joined Congress.
Speaking to media persons in Delhi, Patole said, “It’s home-coming for me. Whatever responsibilities are given to me by Congress President Rahul Gandhi will be carried out by me loyally. But my priority will be to work in Maharashtra,” Patole said.
“I will by fight the Lok Sabha by-poll for Bhandara-Gondia seat only if Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis or NCP leader Praful Patel is in the fray. Otherwise, my first preference will be Vidhan Sabha (Assembly),” Nanabhau declared.
In a tweeter message, the party said “Congress President Rahul Gandhi warmly welcomes Nana Patole, ex-MP from BJP, to the Congress family.”
Patole who quit as BJP’s Bhandara-Gondia MP in December 2017, also said he would contest the by-poll only in case of Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis or NCP stalwart Praful Patel deciding to contest from the now vacant constituency.
In 2014 Lok Sabha polls, Patole had defeated Patel from the Bhandara-Gondia seat.
When asked why he felt that Fadnavis, an MLA, would contest the by-poll, Patole said “I have heard rumours that Fadnavis may be called to Delhi”.
“There are rumours that Fadnavis may be asked to join the Central Government and if that happens he will have to get elected as an MP, either through Rajya Sabha or Lok Sabha,” he said.
Patole said there was also a possibility that Praful Patel may join the BJP and contest from Bhandara Gondia as a party candidate. “However, these are mere conjectures. I will contest only in case the names of Fadnavis or Patel come up for the by-poll,” he said.