Maharashtra Water Resources Minister Girish Mahajan on Sunday claimed that at least 50 MLAs of the Congress and NCP were in touch with the ruling BJP to switch their loyalty ahead of the upcoming Assembly elections.
"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.
Mahajan's claim has come days after NCP Mumbai president Sachin Ahir quit the party and joined Shiv Sena. Chitra Wagh, the women wing president of the NCP, has also resigned from the party. Another NCP MLA Vaibhav Pichad has reportedly expressed his desire to join the saffron party.
The Maharashtra minister also dimissed the allegatiosn of NCP chief Sharad Pawar's allegations that the BJP was misusing the government agencies against the Opposition leaders for politcal gains. "He (Pawar) is levelling these allegations to cover up his own political failure. We have not threatened any one or pressurised any leader," he said.
According to news agency PTI, citing sources, a sizable number of corporators, including Mayor of Navi Mumbai Municipal Corporation Sandeep Naik, are likely to join the BJP ahead of the Assembly polls, scheduled to be hold in September-October.
"A sizable number of corporators on Sunday held a meeting in Navi Mumbai and appealed to Sandeep Naik to join the BJP ahead of assembly elections. If that happens, the BJP will not only gain a strong candidate, but it will also come into power in the civic body as well," the agency quoted a source as saying.