July 25, 2008
h/l: Where in the world is Renge Patil?
intro: Missing ex-Sena MP is in hiding since last Sunday
How's this for an irony? The Member of Parliament, who from August 2006 onwards, is a member of the Committee on Absence of Members from Sittings of the House, is himself missing from action. Tukaram Renge Patil, Shiv Sena MP expelled for defying the party whip to vote against the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) during the trust vote held on Wednesday, has been 'untraceable' since last Sunday.
Interestingly, he has been giving interviews to television channels for the last two days, though the channels have not been revealing his location on air.
Renge Patil was spotted last in Delhi on Sunday morning, after which he has seemingly 'disappeared' but is in touch with family and close associates. He remained absent for the two-day special session of Parliament held on Sunday and Monday, and has not gone to his home at Jamb in Parbhani.
In fact, the phone number he usually uses is currently being operated by his close aide, Amul. Speaking to Sakaal Times on Friday evening, Amul said, "I am currently in Pune. Saheb (Renge Patil) is not here with me. I don't know where he is." On probing a little further, he confessed, "I cannot tell you where he is. All I can say is he is not here in Pune."
That Renge Patil was bound to defy the party whip had become obvious when he did not attend the party meeting at Sena chief Bal Thackeray's residence 'Matoshree' last Saturday. For two days after that, the Sena maintained that Renge Patil was with them and that all MPs would abide by the whip. However, that did not lessen the blow for the Sena when he did not show up for the trust vote and though his absence had a bearing on the NDA losing the vote, his defiance of the party whip stunned the Sena, which is not used to such rebellion.
Renge Patil has reportedly been changing his location every two days since Sunday to escape Shiv Sainiks, who are on the lookout for him. His home in Parbhani has been given police protection and sources said that the MP is due to return home next week, albeit under tight police protection.
The number that Amul provided to Sakaal Times has been consistently switched off. When he provided an alternate number, it was a wrong number. "That is the number we call saheb on," Amul insisted. Meanwhile, sources said that Renge Patil is not in talks to join any other political party as of now.
In Renge Patil's official profile as listed by the Lok Sabha book on MPs, the missing MP's sporting interests include kabaddi and kho kho. His skills at both sports should come in handy now as he dodges irate Sainiks baying for his blood after his 'betrayal'.