In a major setback to Nationalist Congress Party (NCP), 4 of its MLAs from Maharashtra are likely to drift towards ruling parties.
According to the Hindustan Times, NCP's MLA Sangram Jagtap, who took on BJP candidate Sujay Vikhe Patil, son of senior former Congress leader Radhakrishna Vikhe Patil, in Ahmednagar constituency in the Lok Sabha polls, is said to be on his way out to join the Shiv Sena. But Jagtap is not the only one to quit NCP, there are rumours going on that three more sitting legislators – Avdhut Tatkare (Shrivardhan), Bhausaheb Chikatgaonkar (Vaijapur) and Jyoti Kalani (Ulhasnagar) – are likely to quit party ahead of the state Assembly elections.
A senior NCP leader and former minister told the leading daily, “Jagtap and Tatkare are likely to join the Sena whereas the other two, Chikatgaonkar and Kalani, may join the BJP.” In the meanwhile, Tatkare has said that things are yet to be finalized. Tatkare told the Hindustan Times, “You can say that something is on, but things are yet to be finalized. In the seat-sharing agreement between the ruling allies (BJP and Sena), Shrivardhan is with the Shiv Sena.” Avdhut is the son of NCP MP Sunil Tatkare’s elder brother Anil.
Another senior NCP leader told the leading daily, “Jagtap is in talks with the Sena as he wants to ensure his victory in the upcoming polls. In the Lok Sabha, even in his own Assembly constituency of Ahmednagar city, he could get only 50% of votes against Sujay Vikhe Patil (Ahmednagar MP)." But Jagtap has denied that he will join Shiv Sena. “I am still with the NCP,” Jagtap told the leading daily. Even Kalani and Chikatgaonkar refuted the allegations.