Congress May Hit 100 In Lok Sabha With Maharashtra Rebel's Return

Vishal Patil extended support to Congress on Thursday.

New Delhi:

The Congress, which vastly improved its performance but stopped short of a century in Lok Sabha results announced on Tuesday, has added one more MP to its tally.

Vishal Patil, a Congress rebel who won as an independent candidate from Maharashtra, extended support to the party on Thursday.

The Congress won 99 seats in the election. “With Vishal Patil’s support, the Congress’s strength will go up to 100 in Lok Sabha,” Congress MLA Vishwajit Kadam, who had fought for him within the party, said.

The grandson of former Maharashtra chief minister Vasantdada Patil, Vishal Patil won the Lok Sabha election from the Sangli seat, defeating the BJP’s Sanjaykaka Patil.

He had rebelled and contested as an independent after the Sangli parliamentary seat was assigned to the Shiv Sena-UBT in the seat-sharing arrangement among the Maharashtra Vikas Aghadi (MVA) partners.

In a post on X, Congress chief Mallikarjun Kharge said, “Welcoming the support of elected MP from Sangli, Shri Vishal Patil (@patilvishalvp) to the Congress party”.

The Uddhav Thackeray Sena faction’s move to announce its own candidate even before a seat pact had caused some friction in the Maharashtra opposition alliance.

The Congress had repeatedly appealed to the Sena to reconsider its decision.

Vishal Patil and Vishwajit Kadam met Mr Kharge and Congress leaders Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi yesterday, and the independent MP handed over his letter of support to the party.

If the Lok Sabha secretariat gives its approval, Vishal Patil can be called an associate MP of the Congress and the party’s strength in Lok Sabha will become 100, said leaders.

Pappu Yadav, another leader who won as an independent candidate from Bihar’s Purnea, is also expected to support the Congress. He had merged his own party with the Congress before the elections. When the Purnea seat went to the RJD’s share in the Bihar opposition seat pact, Pappu Yadav contested as an independent candidate.