Ex-BJP MP Nana Patole joins Congress; Ashok Chavan says 'too early' to pick candidate for Bhandara-Gondia bypoll

Mumbai: Former BJP MP Nana Patole has formally joined the Congress, Maharashtra Congress chief Ashok Chavan announced on Thursday.

Patole met Congress president Rahul Gandhi in Delhi on 4 January, Chavan said.

However, when asked if Patole will be the party's candidate for Bhandara-Gondia Lok Sabha by-election, Chavan said, "We have not yet taken a call on this. It's too early to comment."

File image of Nana Patole. News18

File image of Nana Patole. News18

The decision on candidate will be taken after the by-election's schedule is announced, the Congress leader said.

The by-election became necessary after Patole, who represented the seat, resigned.

When contacted, Patole said that he joined the Congress on 4 January.

"I will abide by the party's directives," he said when asked if he was going to contest the by-election.

Patole, a former Congressman, had joined the BJP on the eve of the Lok Sabha polls in 2014 and contested from Bhandara-Gondia, defeating NCP heavyweight Praful Patel.

Patole quit the BJP and the Lok Sabha membership in December, 2017 citing the state and Central government's "anti-farmer policies".

Updated Date: Jan 11, 2018 19:26 PM

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