MUMBAI: In a big blow to the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) in its bastion of Western Maharashtra, son of NCP’s sitting Lok Sabha MP from Madha Vijaysinh Mohite-Patil’s son and party’s youth leader Ranjitsinh Mohite-Patil is all set to join the BJP.
The decision in this regard was made at a meeting of Mohite-Patil loyalists at Akluj in Solapur district on Tuesday. The Mohite-Patil junior will join BJP at a special ceremony at Wankhede Stadium at 12.30 tomorrow, said a communiqué.
Vijaysinh Mohite-Patil, who had kept the bastion even in the Modi wave of 2014, was unhappy with the way he was kept out of the party loop this time. Initially, party president Sharad Pawar himself had indicated that he would contest from the seat. However, Mohite-Patil couldn't find his or his son’s name in the two lists of the party even after Pawar made clear his intentions not to contest the seat. This led him to take the extreme decision, said one of his supporters.
According to Mohite-Patil’s supporters, former Maharashtra deputy Chief Minister and Sharad Pawar’s nephew Ajit Pawar had always viewed Ranjitsinh as a potential threat and had left no stone unturned to drive him out of the political arena. As a result, Ranjitsinh was sidelined by the NCP leaders for nearly a decade.
Ranjitsinh had met Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis and BJP leader Girish Mahajan in Mumbai late Monday. He had held negotiation meetings with Mahajan earlier as well, on the day Dr Sujay Vikhe-Patil, the son of the leader of the opposition and Congressman Radhakrishna Vikhe-Patil, had joined the BJP.
Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, who interacted briefly with media at state party headquarters on Tuesday, while referring to the development, said that many more leaders in Maharashtra would be joining the BJP very soon and the build-up of the Modi wave this time would be bigger than that of 2014.
“We shall make a new record of winning seats,” he said.