April 10, 2019 4:53:50 pm
After their sons joined the BJP in the run-up to Lok Sabha elections in Maharashtra, senior Congress leader Radhakrishna Vikhe Patil and NCP’s Vijaysinh Mohite Patil are set to follow the suit, sources close to them said Wednesday.
Both the leaders are expected to join the BJP during the scheduled rallies of Prime Minister Narendra Modi in the state in the coming days.
Vikhe Patil would join the BJP on April 12 in Ahmednagar and Mohite Patil at Akluj in Solapur district on April 17, the sources said. Vikhe Patil is currently the Leader of Opposition in the Maharashtra Legislative Assembly.
Vikhe Patil’s son Sujay joined the BJP last month after the Congress’ ally NCP refused to vacate Ahmednagar seat for his electoral debut. He was subsequently given a ticket by the saffron party.
Mohite Patil, who is the sitting MP of the NCP from Madha constituency in Solapur district, was reportedly sulking over being sidelined in the Sharad Pawar-led party.
He was earlier denied a ticket from Madha as Pawar himself had announced to contest from the constituency. However, Pawar later announced that he was not interested to contest.
Subsequently, Mohite Patil’s son and former Rajya Sabha MP Ranjitsinh Mohite Patil switched his loyalty to the BJP.
“A rally of PM Modi is planned in Ahmednagar on April 12, where Radhakrishna Vikhe Patil will join the BJP. He may be accompanied by some disgruntled leaders of Congress who will also join the BJP,” said a close aide of Vikhe Patil.
“Vijaysinh Mohite Patil and his supporters will join the BJP in a rally on April 17, which will be held in Akluj,” said a close aide of Mohite Patil.
Elections to all the 48 Lok Sabha constituencies in Maharashtra will be held in four phases, beginning April 11.
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