In setback for Sharad Pawar’s NCP, Satara MP Udayanraje Bhosale joins BJPhttps://indianexpress.com/article/india/in-setback-for-sharad-pawars-ncp-satara-mp-udayanraje-bhosale-joins-bjp-5994481/

In setback for Sharad Pawar’s NCP, Satara MP Udayanraje Bhosale joins BJP

After joining the party, Satara MP Udayanraje Bhosale wasted no time in launching an attack against the NCP. "In NCP, I was feeling suffocated. I couldn't get any work done..." he said.

In setback for Sharad Pawar's NCP, Satara MP Udayanraje Bhosale joins BJP
Udayanraje Bhosale joined the BJP in the presence of party chief Amit Shah in New Delhi on Saturday.

Satara MP Udayanraje Bhosale joined the BJP in the presence of party chief Amit Shah at the latter’s residence in New Delhi Saturday. Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, BJP state chief Chandrakant Patil were also present. Bhosale had submitted his resignation to Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla earlier in the morning.

After joining the party, he wasted no time in launching an attack against the NCP. “In NCP, I was feeling suffocated. I couldn’t get any work done… the chief minister and I are old friends. Through him, I have been able to get development works implemented. It is advantageous to have the same party governments at the Centre and in the state,” he said, adding that he will not badmouth anyone.

Bhosale had insisted that he would join only in the presence of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, but the BJP told him that it was not possible as per party protocol, his aides said.

His decision comes months ahead of the crucial Maharashtra Assembly elections and barely three months after he was elected.

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“We expect a bypoll to take place in Satara Lok Sabha along with the state assembly elections… Udayanraje will win by a record margin,” Fadnavis said.

The Satara MP had submitted his resignation late last night. He was accompanied by Fadnavis. The two flew to Delhi on a chartered plane from Pune.

Bhosale, one of the four sitting NCP MPs from Maharashtra, tweeted Friday: “I received inspiration to carry out social work based on the love and blessings of you all. Hoping the same love and blessings will be there forever with me.”

The NCP, meanwhile, said his departure was “good riddance”, as Bhosale was at the root of all problems within the party’s Satara unit. “It’s good riddance for us. Henceforth, there will be no trouble in our Satara unit… he was at the centre of all troubles afflicting the party in Satara district,” the party said Friday.

Explained: Why Sharad Pawar’s NCP is falling apart in Maharashtra ahead of polls

In setback for Sharad Pawar's NCP, Satara MP Udayanraje Bhosale joins BJP
Bhosale submitted his resignation to Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla Saturday.

The party has seen several desertions in the last two months, including a former cabinet minister, ex-MP and serving MLA. After the NCP’s dismal performance in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, leaders have begun looking at other options for their own political survival.