Other States

Cong., NCP suffer another jolt as two leaders switch loyalty to BJP

Welcome aboard: Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis greets Congress leader Harshavardhan Patil after the latter joined the BJP in Mumbai on Wednesday.

Welcome aboard: Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis greets Congress leader Harshavardhan Patil after the latter joined the BJP in Mumbai on Wednesday.  

Harshavardhan Patil, Ganesh Naik will get the space they deserve: BJP State chief

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is in an advantageous position this election season with several Congress and Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) leaders switching loyalty to the saffron party.

On Wednesday, former Cabinet minister and Congress leader Harshavardhan Patil and Navi Mumbai strongman Ganesh Naik (NCP) joined the BJP in the presence of Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis. With the entry of the two leaders, the BJP is hopeful of crossing the 220-mark it had set itself as a target for the Assembly elections due in October, Mr. Fadnavis said.

Announcing their exit from their parent parties, the two leaders said they believed that the problems of voters in their constituencies could only be solved by a BJP government at the Centre. “There is no other alternative left for us to get justice for the people of our constituencies,” they said.

Mr. Patil is likely to provide the BJP some heft against Sharad Pawar’s stronghold in western Maharashtra, where the party has vowed to oust the NCP supremo and his family’s rule. Mr. Naik’s entry along with 50 corporators on the other hand would mean the BJP will grab the power in the local civic body without winning the election.

“My constituency (Indapur) is located in such a way that is has suffered at the hand of some people (Pawars). My supporters who have come here have faced injustice for years and they believe only the BJP could give them justice, mainly equitable distribution of water,” Mr. Patil said.

Sanjeev, son of Mr. Naik, said those joining the BJP are doing it without any conditions and out of their own free will so that they could fulfil the mandate given by the people. “We have respect for Sharad Pawarji and what he has done for us (Naiks). But we have to fulfil the mandate of the people.”

Mr. Patil, a four-term minster who served in the previous governments in the capacity of Minister for Cooperatives and Legislative Affairs, said the decisive action by the Narendra Modi government in the last 100 days has made people believe there is no other alternative to strong governance. “The decisions to abrogate Article 370 and increase fines under the Motor Vehicles Act are such that only Mr. Modi could have taken them. It is for this decisive leadership that I have chosen to come to the BJP without any conditions attached,” he said.

BJP leaders said both leaders from the Congress and NCP will be given due respect and space as they have commandeered in their parent parties. “The talks to bring these two leaders on board have been going on for a long time. We will ensure they get the space they deserve in the party,” BJP State president Chandrakant Patil said.

Party sources confirmed NCP MP from Satara, Udayanraje Bhosle, is also in talks with the BJP while Congress MLC Anandrao Patil too is likely to join the BJP. “Congress leader Kripashankar Singh will also join the party in the presence of Union Minister Rajnath Singh in New Delhi soon,” said a minister of the BJP government. The former president of the Mumbai Congress has submitted his resignation from the party stating he does not agree with the party’s stand on Kashmir.

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Printable version | May 30, 2020 2:40:41 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/cong-ncp-suffer-another-jolt-as-two-leaders-switch-loyalty-to-bjp/article29395737.ece

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