Ex-Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi had asked NCP Chief Sharad Pawar to ensure the defeat of party rebel Balasaheb Vikhe Patil in 1991 Lok Sabha Elections, said the party sources yesterday.

Recently, Mr. Pawar has mentioned how he ensured the defeat of Mr. Patil and that he also remembered the lawsuit that Mr. Gandhi had filed against him.

Mr. Patil had rebelled against then ruling Congress and fought as an independent candidate in 1991 Lok Sabha Elections.

On Thursday, a senior Maharashtra Congress leader Radhakrishna Vikhe Patil said that Mr. Pawar’s remark on his late father, Balasaheb Vikhe Patil, was ‘unwanted’.

Replying to it, the NCP state unit president Jayant Patil said that “there is no question of insulting Balasaheb Vikhe-Patil. During the Lok Sabha elections then, he had stood as an independent candidate. At that time, Rajiv Gandhi ji had put the responsibility of ensuring the Congress candidate Yashwantrao Gadakh’s win, which he did. Now, Pawar Saheb was only stating what happened almost 30 years back.”

He spoke with reporters, after releasing the party’s first candidate list for the upcoming Lok Sabha Election. On Tuesday, his son Sujay Vikhe Patil has joined BJP in the presence of the Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, who he claims has recommended his name for Ahmednagar Lok Sabha seat with BJP tickets.

Mr. Patil further asked, “The NCP had conveyed to the Congress that the Ahmednagar seat could not be given to the Congress as it is the party’s stronghold. However, if he (Sujay) left his party (Congress) only because he wanted to win the elections by hook or crook, how can we be held responsible?.”

He also said that the internal discussion in the party is taking place over the candidates in Beed and Ahmednagar and that the announcements over these constituencies will be done within a couple of days.

Mr. Patil also said that the discussions with Congress are still on for four to five constituencies.

“We have already decided that joint public meetings of the Congress and NCP will happen and places have also been decided. However, once all the candidates are announced, we will announce the places of public meetings as well. But I can assure you Ahmednagar will be one of them,” added Mr. Patil.

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