Maharashtra Ekikaran Samiti (MES) MLA Sambhajirao Patil has drawn criticism from a group in the MES for campaigning for Congress Lok Sabha candidate Laxmi Hebbalkar.
Patil and his supporters, including corporators Dinesh Rawal and Sanjay Shinde, had campaigned for Laxmi in Vadgaon, Khasbag and Shahapur in the city. Their activities found a place on Facebook, received tremendous response, both positive and negative, from netizens.
MES has not officially announced which party or candidate it plans to support in the Lok Sabha polls. Sambhajirao Patil was expected to take a call in this regard after discussing with other senior MES leaders. However, Patil then started campaigning for Laxmi and this seems to have irked several pro-Maharashtrians, who have called him ‘unfit to be in the MES’.
Meanwhile, a few pro-Maharashtrians have installed a board at Mahatma Phule Road in the city accusing Patil of pursuing an anti-MES attitude.
However, Patil defended his actions, which he said were for the development of the city.
“The Congress is in power in the state and the chief minister has promised to release the required funds for development works in the city. So I have been campaigning for Hebbalkar.”
Earlier, Patil had shown interest in contesting the Lok Sabha elections from Belgaum Parliamentary constituency as an MES candidate. However, MES leaders said the forum was not interested in contesting the polls and would extend support to a candidate.
A final decision in this regard will be announced later, they said.
Split in Samiti Out in the Open
Belgaum: The Lok Sabha polls in the constituency seem to have divided the Maharashtra Ekikaran Samiti (MES) into two groups, with one supporting the BJP candidate and the other the Congress candidate.
A group of MES activists said the forum has always respected the saffron colour flag and Hindutva. They said MES would support the BJP wholeheartedly. However, some other MES leaders were seen campaigning for the Congress in the city. According to them, Congress should be supported for development in Belgaum.
Interestingly, a few supporters of former MES MLA Manohar Kinekar were also seen campaigning for Congress.
An MES group recently installed boards in areas dominated by Marathis, expressing their support for ‘Modi Sarkar’.