Jolt to Oppn in Maharashtra as 3 NCP, one Cong MLAs resign to join BJP

Sanjay Sinh, Amethi, BJP, Congress, Satara, Rajya Sabha, The Federal, English news website
NCP MLA Kalidas Kolambkar submits his resignation letter to the Assembly Speaker. Photo: ANI

Four opposition Congress-NCP legislators in Maharashtra resigned from the State Assembly on Tuesday (July 30), amid talk of their joining the ruling BJP.

NCP MLAs Shivendrasinhraje Bhosale (Satara), Vaibhav Pichad (Akole) and Sandeep Naik (Airoli) and Congress MLA Kalidas Kolambkar (Naigaon) handed over their resignation letters separately to Speaker Haribhau Bagade at the state legislature building Vidhan Bhawan in south Mumbai.

“I am more interested in protecting the interest of my Assembly constituency,” said Bhosale, whose cousin Udayanraje Bhosale is NCP MP from Satara.

Vaibhav Pichad hails from Akole tehsil in Ahmednagar district and is the son of former NCP minister Madhukar Pichad. His Assembly segment adjoins that of Balasaheb Thorat, the new state Congress president.

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Maharashtra BJP leaders have been harping that the party aims to win at least 220 of the total 288 Assembly seats along with allies.

Kolambkar is a seven-term lawmaker from Mumbai, while Shivendrasinhraje Bhosale won the Satara seat in 2014 by 47,813 votes.

The four MLAs are likely to join the BJP on Wednesday, sources said. These would be the latest inductions in the BJP ahead of Maharashtra Assembly polls due in just over two months.

NCP’s Mumbai unit chief Sachin Ahir recently quit the party to join the Shiv Sena, while Jaydutt Kshirsagar, NCP leader and former Maharashtra Minister, joined the Shiv Sena in May.

Meanwhile, the grand old party suffered another setback on Tuesday as its Rajya Sabha member Sanjay Sinh, who hails from the Amethi royal family, resigned from the party and said he would join the BJP on Wednesday.

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Sinh, a Congress member of the Rajya Sabha from Assam, also resigned from the Upper House of Parliament, sources said, adding that Rajya Sabha Chairman M Venkaiah Naidu has accepted his resignation.

Addressing a press conference here, the leader said he would join the BJP on Wednesday.

Sinh, who has been in the BJP earlier and was elected to Lok Sabha on its ticket in 90s, wields considerable influence in the Amethi region of Uttar Pradesh. He had unsuccessfully contested the recent Lok Sabha election from Sultanpur. The BJP’s Maneka Gandhi had won from there.