In a sensational claim, senior Congress leader Sushilkumar Shinde on Tuesday said he recently got an offer to join the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).
He said that first his daughter, sitting Maharashtra legislator Praniti Shinde, was approached and later the offer was made to him too.
“However, there is no question of leaving the Congress… We will not be swayed by their allurements. We are both committed Congress workers and will continue to remain so till our last breaths,” Shinde told the media.
Asked who had made the offer, the 77-year-old former Union Minister, Chief Minister and Governor said: “A person of my stature had approached me.”
The revelations, which came a day after Shinde filed his nomination for the Solapur Lok Sabha constituency, created ripples in state political circles.
Incidentally, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Shinde enjoy a good rapport since many years.
When Modi was Gujarat Chief Minister, Shinde had regular interactions with him and other Chief Ministers as the Union Home Minister, Power Minister, Congress Leader in the Lok Sabha and in other capacities.
Starting his life as a Maharashtra Police constable and later in the CID, Shinde plunged into politics in the late 1960s and rose to hold some of the most exalted power positions in the state and at the Centre.
The latest revelations by the senior Congress leader came amidst the ongoing tussle among various political parties to hijack good candidates, scions of political dynasties and other prominent personalities from opposing parties in a bid to improve their winning prospects in the elections.
The BJP in Maharashtra has been attracting many leaders mainly from the Congress and Nationalist Congress Party who are being rewarded with election tickets, but even the opposition has been getting a few from the ruling BJP-Shiv Sena combine across the state.