Mumbai: After various leaders from Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) switched loyalties to ruling parties, Senior NCP leader and chairman of the Maharashtra Legislative Council, Ramraje Nimbalkar, may join the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) ahead of the Assembly election.
A close associate said on Sunday that Nimbalkar’s ongoing feud with Satara NCP MP and Maratha royal Udayanraje Bhosale could be the likely trigger, if he were to jump the ship.
Nimbalkar is considered to be very close to Sharad Pawar and his exit may be a serious blow to NCP, especially in Satara district. Nimbalkar comes from a royal family in Phaltan taluka of Satara, while Bhosale is a descendant of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj.
Bhosale’s younger brother Shivendraraje has already joined the BJP and speculation is rife that he might get a ticket to contest from Jawli assembly constituency in the western Maharashtra district.
It is also expected that Nimbalkar might continue to serve as the chairman of the council even after he switches his loyalty. It is being said he has demanded three assembly seats to switch the loyalty.
He wants Colaba constituency for his son-in-law Rahul Narvekar, who is currently is a Member of Legislative Council from NCP quota. Narvekar’s brother and the latter’s wife are corporators in the BMC (Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation) on BJP tickets.
But, since Raj Purohit is already a legislator from Colaba, BJP may find it difficult to accept this demand. He has also demanded Faltan and Waai for himself.
Despite NCP patriarch Sharad Pawar’s attempts to broker peace, Nimbalkar and Bhosale have been criticising each other from public forums. The assembly election is due in September-October this year.
Rashmi Bagal to join Shiv Sena
Rashmi Bagal, an NCP leader from Karamala assembly constituency in the Solapur district, is also panning to leave the NCP and join the Shiv Sena. She is a daughter of Digambar Bagal, a close confidante of the party supremo, Sharad Pawar.
After the untimely death of Digambar Bagal, his wife Shyamal Bagal was given a chance to represent Karamala in 2009 Assembly election. She won the election.
In 2014, Rashmi contested from Karmala, but was defeated by Shiv Sena’s Narayan Patil with 253 votes. She was later rehabilitated as director of Solapur district cooperative bank. She is reportedly upset with the neglect their family is facing from the NCP leadership.
She has called a meeting of workers on Monday and may announce the decision of joining Shiv Sena.
Crows are quitting party: NCP chief
Terming them as “crows” the leaders who left the NCP and joined others, party chief Sharad Pawar on Sunday said fielding fresh faces in the upcoming Assembly election was being considered by the party.
“We don’t need to worry about crows (kawale) any longer, instead focus on party workers (mawale) ahead of the assembly election,” Pawar said in Mumbai.