Congress leader Harshavardhan meets Fadnavis amid talk of shift to BJP

Harshavardhan Patil, Maharashtra Congress, Devenda Fadnavis, defection
Patil was a four-time MLA from Indapur but had lost in the 2014 Assembly polls to NCP's Datta Bharane (Twitter)

Maharashtra Congress leader Harshavardhan Patil, after being unreachable to his party colleagues, on Friday (September 6) met Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, fuelling speculation that he was on his way to the ruling party.

Since Patil was not contactable from Thursday, senior Congress leader Ashok Chavan had to reach out to him through the media. Chavan had conveyed that Patil’s candidature from Indapur Assembly constituency had been settled with alliance partner NCP.

Patil had held a press conference two days ago in which he accused the NCP of not keeping its promise of giving the Indapur seat to the Congress.

Patil was a four-time MLA from Indapur but had lost in the 2014 Assembly polls to NCP’s Datta Bharane. The two parties had fought the polls separately. He had also hinted that he may switch over to the BJP in the next few days.

Sources in the BJP said Patil and few other opposition leaders are expected to join the party by Anant Chaturdashi, which falls on September 12.

Patil was part of the Shiv Sena government between 1995 and 1999, before coming back to the Congress in 1999 and becoming minister during the 15-year rule of the Congress-NCP.