Exodus from Cong, NCP to BJP-Sena alliance in M'rashtra

Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis. PTI file photo

The exodus from the Congress and NCP to the ruling BJP-Shiv Sena alliance is continuing ahead of the Maharashtra Legislative Assembly polls. 

At least a dozen leaders from the Congress and its ally NCP are expected to join BJP or the Shiv Sena in the coming days. 
 
Those sitting on the fence include ministers in the erstwhile Democratic Front government,  that ruled the state for 15 years.
 
"Several leaders,  sitting MLAs and former MLAs are in touch with Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis and other leaders of the ruling alliance," sources in the BJP-Sena camp said.
 
They said in some cases,  depending on the choice of seat,  the incoming leaders would he accommodated irrespective of party.
 
The example is Abdul Sattar  MLA from Sillod,  who had been expelled by Congress during Lok Sabha polls. Sattar, who was unhappy with Congress' choice of Lok Sabha candidates in Jalna and Aurangabad, had announced support for Harshavardhan Jadhav who contested as an independent candidate from Aurangabad.
 
Sattar had met Fadnavis, Mahajan and Thackeray and may join either BJP or Sena. 
 
The exodus started in 2018,  when former Congress minister and tribal leader Rajendra Gavit quit the party to join BJP and successfully contest the Palghar bye-elections. Ahead of the 2019 Lok Sabha polls,  as part of an understanding,  he left BJP to join Shiv Sena and won the same seat. 
 
Thereafter, Leader of Opposition Radhakrishna Vikhe-Patil's son Dr Sujay Vikhe-Patil joined BJP and successfully contested Ahmednagar seat. Vikhe-Patil Senior quit Congress after the polls and is now the housing minster in Fadnavis government. Similarly,  NCP stalwart from Beed,  Jaydutt Kshirsagar jointed the Sena and became the employment guarantee minister.
 
NCP MLA from Akole,  Vaibhav Pichad,  the son of former tribal affairs minister Madhukar Pichad,  recently met Fadnavis,  along with Vikhe-Patil,  leading to speculations that he may join BJP.
 
NCP MLA from Shahapur in Thane,  Pandurang Barora also quit and have joined Sena. 
"A number of their MLAs are in touch with us. They will be given entry in our party at the appropriate moment," said Patil,  who is No. 2 in Fadnavis government.
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