Mumbai: The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) state president Chandrakant Patil has claimed there will be a 'political earthquake' on Wednesday. The party has organised a 'mega' event on this day, to showcase the top leaders from opposition parties who are going to join its ranks. The BJP has maintained utmost secrecy about the identity of the 'big shot' party hopper, which has only served to flame the curiosity of the opposition.
The programme welcoming new members into the party will be held at the Garware Pavilion in Mumbai. Such fanfare was last witnessed when Sujay Vikhe Patil, the son of the former Congress leader Radhakrishna Vikhe Patil joined the BJP before the Lok Sabha election.
One of the seniormost leaders of the Nationalist Congress Party, Ganesh Naik, is expected to join the BJP on this day, along with his son, the legislator Sandip Naik and 52 members of the Navi Mumbai Municipal Corporation (NMMC). The Naiks hold sway over Navi Mumbai, which sends two legislators to the Assembly. After the Naiks join, the BJP will also become the ruling party in the NMMC.
Shivendra Raje Bhosale, the NCP legislator from Satara and the 13th descendant of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj will also be another prominent name for the BJP. This will help BJP to consolidate the Maratha votes in Western Maharashtra. NCP legislator Vaibhav Pichad, the son of senior NCP leader Madhukar Pichad too will join on Wednesday, along with his supporters, as will the legislator from Wadala, Kalidas Kolambkar, who has resigned from the Congress. The former NCP leader Chitra Wagh will also join the BJP.
When questioned about the political earthquake, party state president Chandrakant Patil advised the media to wait and watch. “These leaders are joining the BJP because they know that the BJP will rule the state for the next 20 years. Therefore, they do not want to be in opposition and ruin their political career,” Patil added.
NCP leader to join Shiv Sena
Senior NCP leader and former minister Manohar Naik and his son Indraneel Naik are expected to join the Shiv Sena. Though they are willing to join the BJP, they have been advised to join the Sena as the Pusad assembly seat in Yavatmal district is in the Sena quota. Manohar Naik was minister for 15 years, from 1999 to 2014. The nephew of former Chief Minister Vasantrao Naik, he is from the Banjara community and his entry will help the BJP-Sena alliance in the state, as the community considers the Naiks as their leaders. Another member of this family, Nilay Naik, has already joined the BJP and is currently member of the legislative council.