Patole, Wasnik, Tokas may feature in Congress’ Vidarbha list for Lok Sabha polls

Nagpur/New Delhi: Former Bharatiya Janata Party MP Nana Patole, who had resigned as legislator in December 2017 over disagreement with party leaders on farmers’ issues, is expected to be the Congress candidate from Nagpur against sitting MP Gadkari. Patole, who joined the Congress last year, said the party has asked for his consent and he has expressed his willingness. Former state minister Nitin Raut is another candidate being considered for a seat. Wasnik and state Congress women wing chief Charulata Tokas have reportedly been finalised from Ramtek and Wardha, respectively.

Shinde (Solapur), Amita Chavan (Nanded), Pratik Patil (Sangli) and Rohidas Patil (Dhule) are other leaders whose candidature is believed to have been finalised.

The screening committee of the Congress, headed by All India Congress Committee general secretary and in charge of Maharashtra Mallikarjun Kharge, has finalised the candidates in Delhi, said sources. The party has decided to resolve the dispute over seats with the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) and alliance with the smaller parties in the next two days. State Congress chief Ashok Chavan, leader of opposition Radhakrishna Vikhe-Patil, and Mumbai Congress chief Sanjay Nirupam from Maharashtra attended the meeting. State leaders will hold another meeting with party president Rahul Gandhi on Saturday.

The screening committee discussed probable candidates for five Mumbai seats the party is contesting. Former MPs Milind Deora and Priya Dutt have been finalised from Mumbai South and Mumbai North Central, respectively. Mumbai Congress chief Sanjay Nirupam and former MP Eknath Gaikwad are being considered for the two other city seats, North West and South Central, respectively. “The final decision will be taken by the central election committee headed by Rahul Gandhi in the next few days,” said a leader.