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Arvind Patil to join BJP soon

It seems that the politics surrounding the elections to the District Central Cooperative Bank has claimed its first political victim.

District in-charge Minister Ramesh Jarkiholi has said that Arvind Patil, senior leader of the Maharashtra Ekikaran Samiti and former MLA, who is contesting the bank polls, would soon be joining the BJP.

“Mr. Patil is our candidate from Khanapur. He is no longer a member of the MES. He will soon be joining the BJP. I was in the Congress for a long time. But now I am in the BJP. That is how it works,’’ Mr. Ramesh Jarkiholi said.

He was speaking at the Rajyotsava celebrations at the CP Ed College Stadium here on Sunday.

He, however, clarified that DCC Bank polls were non-political and that the efforts being made by various BJP leaders to elect directors unanimously was to see that minor, unrelated things such as elections to a local bank did not affect the unity of the party at the taluk or district level. That was being done on the instructions of the senior party leaders and the RSS.

He also denied the allegations that his brother and Congress leader Satish Jarkiholi had goaded MLA Anjali Nimbalkar to fight Mr. Patil in Khanapur. “That is neither true nor has it any relevance to us. First, cooperative bodies are away from party politics and secondly, I will not talk about their party,’’ he said.

On Saturday, Deputy Chief Minister Laxman Savadi defended the BJP backing Mr. Patil, though he did not reveal that the Maratha leader was joining the ruling party.

Technically speaking, Mr. Patil was never a MES candidate. He always fought polls as an Independent candidate. He must have participated in some MES programmes. But that is a completely different matter, Mr. Savadi said.

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