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My candidature should not have been announced earlier: Hingoli MP Hemant Patil

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Chhatrapati Sambhajinagar, Apr 5 (PTI) Sitting Hingoli MP Hemant Patil, whom the Shiv Sena replaced with Baburao Kadam Kohalikar as the party nominee for the Lok Sabha seat, said on Thursday that his candidature should not have been announced earlier.

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The Shiv Sena, led by Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde, had on March 28 renominated Patil from Hingoli, which will go to polls in the second phase on April 26.

However, the party cancelled his nomination on Wednesday night, apparently amid opposition from within the ‘Mahayuti’ (grand alliance), which also comprises the BJP and Ajit Pawar-led NCP.

Patil met and congratulated Kadam on Thursday before speaking to reporters in Hingoli, a part of the state’s Marathwada region.

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“My first feeling was that the party should not have announced my candidature. But our senior leaders have their own challenges as a three-party coalition is governing the state,” he said.

In the 2019 general elections, Patil had won from Hingoli as a candidate of the undivided Shiv Sena, polling nearly 5.86 lakh votes.

“We have to accept it (change in candidature). It feels bad but as a party worker, I will work and extend my help in the election in Hingoli,” he added.

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Asked about the likely nomination of his wife Rajashree Patil from the Yavatmal-Washim seat, the MP said, “I did not take any assurance on this from him (Eknath Shinde). I have been told that my wife will be fielded from the Yavatmal-Washim seat. We have not sat together as a family and talked about this.” Shiv Sena’s Bhavana Gawali is the sitting MP from Yavatmal-Washim.

Leader of Opposition in Maharashtra Legislative Council Ambadas Danve, who is with the Uddhav Thackeray-led Shiv Sena (UBT), jibbed at Hemant Patil after the change in candidate in Hingoli.

“Shinde couldn’t digest the respect he got from Matoshree (Uddhav Thackeray’s home) and Shiv Sena. This is the result of forsaking freedom and accepting the slavery of the BJP. His (Patil’s) candidature was changed due to BJP's pressure,” Danve claimed on X.

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“No one ever dared to pressure Uddhav Thackeray like this. Lok Sabha (elections) are a mere trailer. Your ‘Dillishar’ (leaders from Delhi) will show the entire movie in state assembly polls,” Danve added.

The elections to Maharashtra’s 48 Lok Sabha seats will be held in five phases between April 19 and May 20 and votes will be counted on June 4.

Assembly elections are also due in the state later this year. PTI AW NR

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