MUMBAI: Politicians from other parties are joining the BJP to take the development to the people and not for any post, Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis said on Wednesday as several opposition leaders, including the four MLAs who had resigned from the Assembly on Tuesday, joined the BJP. “People have experienced the change that has set in under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi due to which they are supporting the BJP in increasing numbers.
The leaders who are connected with the people, too, have realised this and hence are joining the BJP to take this development to the people in their respective areas,” said Fadnavis, and announced that he is embarking on the Maha Janadesh Yatra from Thursday.
The BJP might field the four MLAs in the Assembly elections due in September-October, depending on how the seat-sharing deal between the party and its ally Shiv Sena shapes up, sources said.
The three NCP MLAs who switched their loyalties are Shivendraraje Bhosale from Satara, Sandeep Naik from Airoli in Navi Mumbai, and Vaibhav Pichad from Akole in Ahmednagar district. The fourth is Congress leader Kalidas Kolambkar from Wadala. Pichad’s father and former state tribal development minister Madhukar Pichad were also present. Kolambkar, a seven-term lawmaker, was originally with the Sena before joining the Congress.
Naik is the son of NCP strongman and former minister Ganesh Naik. Bhosale, who claims the lineage of Chhatrapati Shivaji, is locked in a turf war with his cousin Udayanraje Bhosale, the NCP MP from Satara. Along with the four MLAs, NCP’s state women’s wing chief Chitra Wagh, Ahmednagar district Central Cooperative Bank Chairman Sitaram Gaikar, Mahatma Phule’s descendant Geeta Hole and former police officer Sahebrao Patil who joined the BJP. The leaders who have deserted the Congress and the NCP ahead of elections claimed they were joining the NDA to ensure development of their constituencies.
BJP MLA claims Congress offered money to join party
Bhopal: A first-time BJP MLA in Madhya Pradesh, Sitaram Adivasi, has alleged that the ruling Congress party had offered him crores of rupees and ministerial berth if he joined them. Adivasi, the MLA from Vijaypur, alleged that a group of Congress leaders from Gwalior-Chambal region met him at least four times before and during the State Assembly’s budget session. “The leaders asked me how much money and which ministerial berth did I want for joining the Congress. Following my refusal to not accept their offer, rumours have been spread of me being in touch with Congress,” the tribal leader told this newspaper: