Mumbai: Vanchit Bahujan Aghadi’s (VBA) former spokesperson and core committee member, Gopichand Padalkar (in pic), bounced back to the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Monday afternoon.
Padalkar, a leader of the Dhangar community left BJP to join the VBA ahead of the Lok Sabha election earlier this year. On Monday afternoon, he reconciled with the saffron party in the presence of CM Devendra Fadnavis and BJP state president Chandrakant Patil.
Gracing the event, Fadnavis informed his party is looking forward to fielding Padharkar from the Baramati constituency in the assembly election.
“Like a tiger, Padalkar is the king of his constituency, hence I suggest we field him from the Baramati constituency,” said Fadnavis.
Baramati is the stronghold of Nationalist Congress Party chief (NCP) Sharad Pawar. Pawar’s daughter Supriya Sule represents Baramati Lok Sabha constituency, while his nephew and former deputy Maharashtra chief minister Ajit Pawar is the sitting legislature.
“Padalkar is immensely popular among the local populace and tribals of his constituency. His candidature will assure us victory with a huge margin,” added Fadnavis.
In the LS poll, Padalkar contested from the Sangli constituency, earning 3 lakh votes on his name. According to party sources, Padalkar wanted to quit VBA in the midst of the Lok Sabha election, as he was not given a free hand in doing his job.
Soon after the poll, Padalkar got in touch with senior BJP leaders and negotiated his way back. Following which he tendered his resignation to VBA chief Prakash Ambedkar on September 27.
Alongwith Padalkar, Congress president of Shirpur, Prabhakar Chavan and Congress MLA Kashiram Pawar also joined BJP on Monday.