Fifty-eight-year-old Nana Patole, President, Maharashtra Pradesh Congress Committee, is a happy man. Not because his daughter found a suitable alliance and was married off with much fanfare and the ceremony being attended by the Governor Bhagatsingh Koshyari, Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) colleagues Balasaheb Thorat (Congress) and Nawab Malik (NCP) among others but because he pulled off a coup of sorts recently. Sources say he got Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah to withdraw their party candidate in the recently held state’s by-election to the Rajya Sabha necessitated by the demise of Congress MP Rajeev Satav. His earlier stint in BJP probably helped. He left BJP and joined Congress in 2017. Patole, who has earned brownie points with the Gandhis, now faces the real test on December 22, 2021, when BJP will expect a quid pro quo on the issue of 12 suspended BJP MLAs from the Maharashtra legislature. How Patole delivers remains to be seen. The issue of the 12 suspended BJP MLAs will figure majorly in the forthcoming state session and is likely to create fissures within the MVA constituents with Sharad Pawar’s NCP and Uddhav Thackeray’s Shiv Sena likely to be on opposite sides of the Congress while deciding the fate of the suspended BJP MLAs.