In yet another jolt to the Congress-NCP alliance in Maharashtra, former NCP MP Ranjitsinh Mohite Patil joined the BJP Wednesday, PTI reported. This comes a week after Sujay Vikhe Patil, the son of Maharashtra Leader of Opposition Radhakrishna Vikhe Patil, joined the BJP.
Ranjitsinh, who was a Rajya Sabha member of the NCP, joined the BJP in presence of Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis. His father Vijaysinh Mohite Patil is NCP’s MP from Madha constituency and a former deputy CM of Maharashtra.
Ranjitsinh has cited disappointment with top NCP leadership as the reason for leaving the party. He had on Tuesday announced that he is set to join BJP. Vijaysinh had publicly backed his son’s move, making it clear that he too would be on the BJP’s side this election.
Even as the NCP played down the impact of Mohite-Patil’s exit, it is being seen as a political coup in the state’s political circles.
Withstanding the Modi wave, Vijaysinh had won the 2014 polls for the NCP from Madha. Besides being a leading political family, the Mohite-Patils have a prominent presence in the state’s cooperative sugar industry, which holds the key political power in rural Maharashtra.
On Tuesday, Congress president Rahul Gandhi had met NCP chief Sharad Pawar to review the grand alliance’s poll fortunes. In a meeting lasting over an hour, sources said that the two leaders discussed ways and means to stop the exodus of sitting MPs, while also holding deliberations over the formalisation of the seat-sharing pact between the two parties, as well as the arrangement with the smaller regional parties, who have agreed to be a part of the alliance.