Patil of Cong set to enter Rajya Sabha unopposed

The Congress candidate for a Rajya Sabha bypoll in the state, Rajani Patil, will get elected unopposed, thanks to astute diplomacy by Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan.

The Chief Minister managed to convince leaders of main opposition parties, Shiv Sena and BJP, not to put up a candidate against her.

He held a meeting with BJP-SS leaders, including Vinod Tawde, Eknath Khadse and Subhash Desai, early Wednesday morning.

"We decided to not field a candidate after a CM request. We are happy a women from Marathwada is getting the chance to serve the people of the region," senior Sena leader Desai said.

The Chief Minister is supposed to have impressed upon the opposition to allow Patil a smooth sailing as the seat was earlier represented by former Chief Minister the late Vilasrao Deshmukh.

"Another reason we are not putting up a candidate is our respect for Vilasrao. He was a leader who took everyone along in making decisions and we felt not putting up a candidate would be a fitting homage to him," senior BJP leader Khadse said.

The opposition, however, did not miss the opportunity to point out that a similar request to Congress-NCP to not contest a seat that fell vacant after the demise of BJP leader Pramod Mahajan had gone unheeded.

Patil (54), a Gandhi family loyalist, will occupy a Rajya Sabha seat that fell vacant due to the death of Deshumkh on August 14 last year.

His term in Rajya Sabha was to end on April 2, 2018. Wednesday was the last date for filing nominations.

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