Their induction will worsen the Sena-BJP equation

Mumbai : The BJP sent out a strong signal to its ally Shiv Sena and gave a blow to the ruling alliance when Minister of State for Agriculture Sanjay Savkare and Murbad MLA Kisan Kathore were inducted into the party on Monday.

Both the leaders joined the party in presence of senior BJP leader and Leader of Opposition in Assembly Eknath Khadse at his official residence.

This is a jolt to NCP, as both the leaders belonged to it. At the same time, this is also a strong signal to Shiv Sena as both of these leaders have won 2009 assembly election defeating Shiv Sena candidates.

“Both the leaders have a strong following in their constituencies and BJP will benefit from it in the October 15 polls,” Khadse said.

Savkare represents Bhusawal Assembly segment.

“I decided to quit NCP because of local issues in my constituency. My supporters were angry over certain things and wanted me to join BJP. I was also noticing that another NCP leader in my region was being promoted by the leadership and I was being marginalised,” Savkare said.

The two are the latest in a long list of NCP leaders to join BJP in the last few days. Former NCP leader from Sangli Ajit Ghorpade joined BJP recently in the presence of Union Minister Nitin Gadkari.

Ghorpade may lock horns with state Home Minister R R Patil in the Tasgaon-Kavathemahankal Assembly segment, if fielded by BJP which does not have the seat, as per the old seat-sharing formula with bickering ally Shiv Sena.

In a setback to the NCP, several of its senior leaders, including former Union Minister of State Suryakanta Patil, NCP’s former state minister Babanrao Pachpute and former Chief Minister Ashok Chavan’s rival Madhav Kinhalkar also joined the BJP.

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