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Abandoning a sinking ship? Defection becomes a regular occurrence as Mahagathbandhan leaders continue to quit

Congress leader and former union minister Pratik Patil in Maharashtra and RJD's state president Annapurna Devi in Jharkhand, have quit their respective parties. Annapurna Devi is set to join the BJP today.

As the elections are drawing closer, a flurry of leaders from the opposition camp abandoning their parties can be seen, in possible anticipation of imminent defeat. Maharashtra Congress received another major blow as the former cabinet minister, Pratik Patil has severed his relations with the party.

In the upcoming Lok Sabha elections, the Sangli seat, which was a Congress stronghold till 2014, has been given to Raju Shetty’s ‘Swabhiman Shetkari Paksha’ under the agreement of seat sharing in the United Progressive Alliance. This coalition included Congress, NCP, and other constituent parties. Now, Pratik Patil had alleged that some people in the party are trying to put an end to the legacy of Vasantdada Patil. “Under the current scenario, I cannot be a part of Congress,” he has declared.

In the last Lok Sabha elections, Congress candidate Pratik Patil lost to BJP’s Sanjay Patil. It was the first time that Congress was defeated in Sangli since 1962. Former Maharashtra Chief Minister Prithviraj Chauhan has expressed his anguish over Pratik’s resignation. He asserted that it was pre-decided that Shetty’s SSP party will be fighting from the Sangli seat.

Pratik Patil, a former union minister, has not declared his future plans or next political move yet.

Meanwhile, in a major setback to the RJD, Annapurna Devi, the Jharkhand state president of Lalu Prasad Yadav’s party Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD), has decided to join BJP. Annapurna is set to join the BJP in the presence of Amit Shah, National President of Bharatiya Janata Party, in New Delhi today.

Following the announcement, RJD has removed Annapurna Devi from the post of RJD’s Jharkhand state president on the order of party supremo Lalu Prasad Yadav. Gautam Sagar Rana has been instated as the state president of Jharkhand.

Denying any impact on the RJD, Gautam Sagar Rana has claimed that Annapurna’s absence is not going to affect the party. According to him, Annapurna Devi was in touch with the BJP for several months. With several rival leaders switching over and joining the BJP, it can be surmised that even they have given up on the fate of Mahagathbandhan and placed their faith on PM Modi’s reelection.

Recently, former CM Ashok Chavan expressed his desire to quit from Congress. Former Leader of Opposition Radhakrishna Patil’s son Sujay Patil had quit Congress to join BJP. Even, once a close aide of Sonia Gandhi, Tom Vadakkan had left Congress to join the BJP. Many leaders in TMC have also quit to join the BJP in recent weeks.

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Staff reporter at OpIndia

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