Mumbai, Sep 20 (IANS): The Congress has named former MP Rajani Patil as its candidate for the October 4 by-election to Rajya Sabha seat from Maharashtra, leaving many formidable contenders disappointed.
The by-election was necessitated after the demise of sitting MP Rajeev Satav due to Covid-19 in May.
Patil, 62, considered close to the Gandhi family, has effectively pipped several senior hopefuls like former Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan, Mukul Wasnik, Avinash Pande, Ghulam Nabi Azad, Rajiv Shukla and even Satav's widow Pradnya, who was recently appointed the state party Vice President.
Hailing from Pune, Patil has earlier been the party in-charge of Himachal Pradesh and currently looks after the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir.
"Congress President Sonia Gandhi has approved the candidature of Rajani Patil as the Congress candidate for the ensuing by-election to the Rajya Sabha from Maharashtra," said an official AICC statement this evening.
Patil is expected to win easily as the Congress, which is currently in alliance with Shiv Sena and Nationalist Congress Party in the Maha Vikas Aghadi government headed by Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray, has 44 members in the Assembly, and she will hold the seat till April 2026.