Vijayapura: Veteran Congress leader and former Minister S. R. Patil, who is known for his staunch loyalty to the Congress, now appears to be dismayed with the grand old party.
Patil has apparently, has not only distanced himself from the party affairs but also turned hyperactive in public affairs after Congress denied him a legislative council ticket.
Though 73-year-old Patil has not openly expressed dismay for the party High Command denying him a ticket to contest the legislative council polls, sources close to him say that he is unhappy with the party. It may be noted that the party chose former Minister M. B. Patil’s younger brother Sunilgouda Patil over S. R. Patil for giving a ticket for the dual seat of Vijayapura – Bagalakote. Following the decision, S. R. Patil has distanced himself from most of the party events.
With hardly a year left for the assembly polls, S. R. Patil has become active in the local public affairs. A month ago, he had spearheaded the tractor rally named ‘Sankalp Yatra’ under the banner Uttar-Karnataka Swabimana Vedike demanding the state government the implementation of all the major irrigation projects including the Upper Krishna Project and Mahadayi Yojana of North Karnataka. This rally was a huge success in Vijayapura and Bagalakote.
Thereafter, the septuagenarian also extended his support for the formation of Mahalingapura as a new taluka in Bagalkot. He participated in the indefinite protest organised by the members of Mahalingapura Taluka Horata Samiti recently. He said that he would make all the effort to get Mahalingapura announced as the new taluk.
Similarly, he is participating in the maximum public events in the district for the past six months. The recent activities of Patil have led to talks among the political circles and public that the former leader of the opposition of the legislative council is planning to contest the upcoming assembly polls.
The sources also claimed that as he was denied a ticket for council polls, the party high command has assured him a ticket for the upcoming assembly polls from one of the segments from Bagalakote.
According to his close political aides, “Patil is planning to contest either from Bilgi or Bagalakote Assembly segment in the forthcoming 2023 assembly polls. However, he is likely to remain in Congress.”
Patil said that “I don’t have any intentions of making political benefits out of holding rallies and participating in public affairs. This rally is also not organized because Assembly elections are nearing. I had announced that I would organise this yatra in the budget session.”
“The party has not side-lined me. The high command has promised to provide good posts in future. I am confident that the party will keep up its word. I am not running behind any chair or any post. The party should make use of my experience in the upcoming Assembly polls. If the party gives me an opportunity, I will contest the assembly polls,” stated Patil when asked about his future in the grand-old party.
When questioned why Patil distanced himself from the party affairs, he said that “I have physically distanced from the party but not mentally. I will continue to be a Congressman.”