Maha BJP chief says he would return to Kolhapur, NCP takes dig

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Pune, Dec 26 (PTI) Maharashtra BJP chief Chandrakant Patil's statement made in a lighter vein that although everyone thinks of settling in Pune but he would like to go back to Kolhapur, gave ammunition to the ruling NCP to take a dig at him and former chief minister Devendra Fadnavis.

Patil, who hails from Kolhapur district, had contested the last Maharashtra Assembly election from Kothrud constituency in Pune.

Patil had faced opposition and had to battle a perception of being an 'outsider' after he was given candidature by the party, which denied ticket to the then- sitting BJP MLA Medha Kulkarni.

Speaking at an event in Pune on Friday, where Leader of Opposition in the Assembly Devendra Fadnavis was also present, Patil said in a lighter vein, 'Pune is a place where everybody thinks of settling. It is a city of progress...But I will go back to Kolhapur. Please convey this to my opponents.' Speaking to reporters on the sidelines of a function here on Saturday, Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister and senior NCP leader Ajit Pawar took a dig at Patil and Fadnavis.

'Someone has said 'mi punha yein' (I will come back).

Unfortunately, it was not possible. Someone said 'mi Parat jaeen' (I will go back). But who invited you to Pune?' Pawar said.

'However, people of Kothrud have elected you for five years for the development of the constituency. Therefore, you should work for them,' the NCP leader said.

Fadnavis had used 'mi punha yein' refrain during the 2019 poll campaign to convey that he would return as a chief minister for the second term. However, after the poll results, the Shiv Sena joined hands with the NCP and Congress to keep the BJP away from power.

On the Maratha reservation, Pawar said the issue was pending in the Supreme Court.

'We are trying to justify the law. But considering the current scenario, we took a decision to list the community under the Economically Weaker Sections (EWS) category.

However, it is possible that some people have different opinions on this issue.' he said. PTI SPK COR NP NP