As the assembly elections in Maharashtra draw closer, a fresh group of opposition leaders from Congress and Nationalist Congress Party(NCP) left their respective political parties to join the BJP. Navi Mumbai NCP strongman Ganesh Naik and former state minister and Congress leader Harshvardhan Patil’s inclusion in the saffron party is considered as a major shot in the arm for the BJP.
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Patil’s desertion is considered as a major blow to the Congress party, which is already struggling to keep its flock together as senior leaders continue to leave their party to join the BJP-Shivsena. Patil has been an MLA four times from the Indapur assembly seat in Pune District. Patil also holds a record of serving as a minister in all state governments from 1995 to 2014.
Another leader who is set to join the BJP on Wednesday is Mumbai strongman Ganesh Naik. His son and Airoli MLA Sandeep already joined the saffron party last month. Ganesh had been a cabinet minister for 15 years. The Naik family enjoys considerable clout in Navi Mumbai. Ganesh’s other son Sanjeev was elected as an MP from Thane in 2009. Along with Naik, 55 corporators from NCP will also join the BJP, bringing the municipal corporation of Navi Mumbai under BJP.
Ever since the Modi tsunami swept the entire country in the 2019 General elections, many ardent opposition leaders have relinquished their political battles with the BJP and instead joined the saffron party and its allies.
In July this year, Shiv Sena was able to lure in its fold, Sachin Ahir, the then Mumbai city chief of NCP. Ahir was considered as a close aide of the NCP chief Sharad Pawar, yet Shiv Sena was successful in poaching him away from the NCP. The BJP, on the other hand, managed to get the former Leader of Opposition-Radhakrishna Vikhe Patil and his son Sujoy Patil from Congress.