MUMBAI: The BJP is expecting a large number of leaders, primarily from the Congress and the NCP, to join the party in the coming days. The induction, however, is unlikely to be an easy affair for the party.
While there had been sloganeering against rebel Congress MLA Abdul Sattar at a BJP workers’ meet on Tuesday, another Congress MLA from Mumbai, who is waiting to join the BJP, has indicated that he would contest as an independent if a decision in his regard is not made soon.
Sattar, who too had quit the party after Radhakrishna Vikhe-Patil, is expected to join the BJP soon.
He had even met Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis after rebellion during the Lok Sabha polls. However, he appears to be facing fierce opposition from local BJP groups.
At a BJP meeting in Sillod town of Aurangabad district, that Sattar represents in the Assembly, there were loud protests against him. BJP workers were opposing his entry into the party, local sources have said.
“It will be difficult for the grassroots worker of the BJP to accept Sattar, whom they have been opposing for over 25 years,” said the locals.
In Mumbai, Congress MLA Kalidas Kolambkar too is waiting to join the BJP. However, with opposition from the local party unit as well as from ally Shiv Sena, the BJP had been avoiding his induction in the party for a long time.
Frustrated with the delay, Kolambkar on Wednesday said he would prefer contesting as an independent as he can’t withstand the delay.
State BJP president Raosaheb Danve, however, appeared confident that the party workers would be pacified and the entry of leaders from various parties would be facilitated.
“We have been telling our party workers that at times we have to accept people from other parties when the party is in expansion mode and I’m sure that the workers would agree to it,” he said.