Ex-union minister quits BJP, likely to join NCP

Mumbai: BJP in Maharashtra has received yet another setback after former union minister Jaisinghrao Gaikwad-Patil on Tuesday resigned from the party’s primary membership. Gaikwad is likely to join NCP.

He sent his resignation letter to Maharashtra BJP president Chandrakant Patil. "I am willing to work for the party, but the party is not giving me a chance, hence I took this step," Gaikwad Patil, who lives in Aurangabad, said.

A prominent Maratha leader from the Marathwada region, Patil had represented Aurangabad graduates’ constituency in the council from 1990 to 1998.

His decision comes at a time when the NCP is pitted against BJP in the election to the Aurangabad graduates’ constituency slated for December 1. “I have not decided to join any party as of now, but my only aim is to defeat the BJP candidate in the graduates’ constituency. I am supporting NCP candidate Satish Chavan to ensure that he is elected at least by 15,000 votes,’’ he noted.

Gaikwad-Patil led a scathing attack against the party leadership saying that in view of arrogance of power it has no time for party cadre.

He further said he was resigning from the state BJP unit and also from the primary membership of the party.

Gaikwad-Patil was a minister in Shiv Sena-BJP govt from 1995 to 1999. He was later elected as Parliament member from Beed and served as a minister in Prime Minister AB Vajpayee’s govy. He quit the BJP and joined the NCP in 2004 and was elected as a Parliament member that year for the third time from Beed. However, he returned to the BJP in 2010.

It will be Gaikwad-Patil’s ghar vapsi in NCP. The NCP insiders hinted that the former BJP leader will soon join the party but did not divulge further details. Already a veteran BJP leader Eknath Khadse last month has joined NCP. State NCP chief Jayant Patil claimed that a large number of BJP leaders were keen to enter into NCP.

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