New Delhi: Four opposition legislators on Tuesday resigned from Maharashtra Assembly amid talks of their switching allegiance to the ruling BJP. The leaders who handed over their resignation letters separately to Speaker Haribhau Bagade at the state legislature building Vidhan Bhawan in south Mumbai were Congress MLA Kalidas Kolambkar and NCP’s Shivendrasinh Bhosale, Vaibhav Pichad and Sandip Naik.
According to sources, the four are likely to join Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Wednesday, i.e., July 31. These would then be regarded as the latest inductions in the BJP ahead of Maharashtra Assembly polls that is due in just over two months.
Notably, former Congress leader Kalidas Kolambkar had joined the party along with former chief minister Narayan Rane. After Rane parted ways with the Congress, Kolambkar too openly expressed his discontent with the party’s functioning and resigned on July 29. While Kolambkar is a seven-term lawmaker from Mumbai, Shivendrasinh Bhosle won the Satara seat in 2014 by 47,813 votes.
The other MLA who resigned earlier in the day was Vaibhav Pichad, the son of senior NCP leader and former state minister Madhukar Pichad.
Meanwhile, at least 50 MLAs of the Congress and the NCP are reportedly in touch with BJP to switch over ahead of the assembly elections scheduled to take place later this year, said senior BJP leader and Maharashtra Water Resources Minister, Girish Mahajan on Sunday. The minister’s comments had come in the wake of a string of leaders from Sharad Pawar-led NCP deserting their parent party in recent past.
“Some 50 MLAs of Congress and NCP are in touch with the BJP. Senior NCP leader Chitra Wagh had expressed her desire to join BJP a month back, claiming she had no future left in her parent party. The MLAs are requesting that they wanted to join the BJP ahead of the assembly elections…The Congress is in the shambles and in the next couple of weeks, the NCP will look weaker,” Mahajan said.
Earlier, a senior Congress leader from Maharashtra told IANS: “Nothing seems to be good in party unit following the rout in the Lok Sabha elections.” Last month, the party leader mentioned after Radhakrishna Vikhe Patil joined the BJP, three other MLAs namely Abdul Sattar, Nitish Rane, and Kalidas Kolambkar are reportedly in touch with the BJP leaders in the state.
In the Lok Sabha Elections 2014, out of the total 288 seats in the Maharashtra Assembly, BJP bagged 122 seats, Shiv Sena got 63 seats, Congress secured 42 seats, while the NCP got 41 seats. The Shiv Sena later joined the BJP-led government.