In yet another major embarrassment for Congress president Rahul Gandhi, a day after reports of Congress Leader of Opposition in Maharastra assembly, Radhakrishna Vikhe Patil’s son Sujay Vikhe Patil, joining the BJP surfaced, there have been reports that a senior 7-time MLA, Kalidas Kolambkar, has now decided to ditch Congress and join BJP.
Party MLA Kalidas Kolambkar who currently represents Wadala constituency in Mumbai, had made his stands clear on joining the ruling party in the state. This comes as a major jolt to the Congress who is yet to recover from yesterday’s shock in which its own leader’s son joint its biggest opponent.
Maharashtra Leader of Opposition Radhakrishna Vikhe Patil’s son Sujay Vikhe Patil joined the Bharatiya Janata Party in Mumbai, in the presence of CM Devendra Fadnavis. Addressing the media, Vikhe Patil had thanked PM Narendra Modi and BJP chief Amit Shah for giving him a chance to serve BJP and lauded Fadnavis’ leadership.
With senior Congress leaders and their relatives abandoning the party and joining the opposition, panic has set among Congress loyalists and questions are being asked of Congress on their preparedness to take on the mighty BJP.
Meanwhile, Kolambkar, who has been 7-time legislator from Maharashtra, was quoted as saying, “I worked in the Congress party for 10 years. But they stopped a lot of development work in my constituency. I support those who work.” Kolambkar was in Shiv Sena previously and had joined Congress in 2005.
It what could be seen as a considerable humiliation of the Congress party, Kolambkar has reportedly replaced the Congress signboard outside his office and has put up Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis portrait there.
“After Devendra Fadnavis took over as Chief Minister, I told him about the work needed to be done in my area and he completed those works. Then, whose photo should I put? Those who work or those who don’t,” he asked.
Similarly, speculations are rife that former Congress minister of Assam, Gautam Roy and ex-Congress MP Kirip Chaliha are expected to join the BJP today. The departure of these two senior leaders in Assam is expected to impact the Congress as they wield considerable influence among their voters.
Intensifying Rahul Gandhi’s predicaments, Congress MLA Vallabh Dharaviya from Gujarat, had quit Congress and joined BJP on March 11. Prior to him, Congress MLAs from Manvadar, Unjha and Halvad Dhrangadhra had resigned and joined the BJP. In Telangana, 4 Congress MLAs have defected to join TRS.
Nevertheless, if the similar situation persists, it would become difficult for the Congress supremo to keep his flock cinched before the 2019 Lok Sabha elections.