FORMER MP and Swabhimani Paksha founder Raju Shetti has decided to say no to an MLC nomination from the NCP, a day after two senior leaders from his party expressed their displeasure over the same. Leaders close to Shetti said the open dissent in the party had forced him to make such a decision. The internal dispute is threatening to divide the farmers’ outfit once again even as an effort is on to fine a middle ground.
Shetti’s decision to accept the MLC (Member of Legislative Council) nomination has been openly criticised by party leaders Anil Sahukar Madnaik and Jalinder Patil. Patil, while speaking to The Indian Express, said Shetti should have thought of his followers rather than proposing his own name for the post. Similarly, Madnaik, one of Shetti’s most trusted lieutenants had also openly expressed his displeasure over the move. Madnaik was the party’s candidate from Shirol constituency of Kolhapur district in the 2019 elections, but he was defeated by NCP rebel candidate and Minister of State Rajendra Patil Yedravkar.
In view of the open feud, Shetti has announced that he will not accept the MLC nomination. Leaders close to him said only Shetti would have been able to be nominated under Governor’s quota given the status he has created for himself.
“No one else in our organisation can match the work the former MP has done. If we put forward other names, they will be rejected,” said a leader. Shetti also expressed his optimism that the unrest in his party will soon be over.
Patil told The Indian Express from Kolhapur that the decision to reject the nomination would be foolish. “All we ask for is to be considered for the work we have put in our entire career,” he said.
Patil was once the party’s candidate in Radhanagar Bhudargad Assembly constituency in Kolhapur district. The senior leader denied having spoken to Shetti about the matter recently but is hopeful that it will be resolved amicably.
This would not be first time that the farmer’s outfit is facing such an issue. Earlier in 2014, party leader Ulhas Patil had joined the Shiv Sena when Madnaik was chosen to represent Shirol constituency.
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