Udayanraje talks to saffron leaders,gives NCP the jitters

Bhosale is known to be volatile and switch parties.

Written by Express News Service | Mumbai | Updated: April 14, 2014 2:45 pm

Satara NCP MP Udayanraje Bhosale,a descendent of warrior king Shivaji,met leaders of opposition parties,including Shiv Sena and BJP,Friday,sparking speculation he might shift loyalty.

He,however,said: “It was a casual meeting. They are my friends. When senior leaders meet no one raises suspicion. If I meet,people feel something is cooking.”

Bhosale first met senior BJP leader Gopinath Munde and later Shiv Sena president Uddhav Thackeray. He last met RPI leader Ramdas Athawale.

Bhosale is known to be volatile and switch parties. In the mid-90s,he joined BJP and became vice-chairman of Krishna Valley Development Corporation,a post granted cabinet status. He was subsequently elected to the Assembly in a by-election and became minister of state for revenue.

In September 1999,Bhosale was accused of having killed an NCP member on the eve of Assembly elections. He was subsequently acquitted. In 2009,he joined NCP which gave him a Lok Sabha ticket. Bhosale won by over 3 lakh votes.

However,his relationship with NCP has been uneasy. Soon after the Lok Sabha win,he declared his loyalties did not lie with NCP but with the people who elected him.

Bhosale recently beat cops at a police station in Satara.

His grouse is NCP is not giving him enough importance. The past few days,he has been keeping from NCP functions. His absence was conspicuous at a recent review meeting held by Sharad Pawar in Mumbai.

NCP,meanwhile,is going all out to keep Bhosale. Home minister R R Patil held a meeting recently to try and pacify the leader. NCP has eight MPs and party president Pawar is keen to increase the tally.

He had asked senior party leaders in April to be ready to contest Lok Sabha elections.

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