4 Congress-NCP MLAs resign, may join BJP

Four opposition Congress-NCP legislators in Maharashtra today resigned from the State Assembly, amid talk of their joining the ruling BJP, ahead of Assembly elections in the state.

NCP MLAs Shivendrasinhraje Bhosale (Satara), Vaibhav Pichad (Akole) and Sandeep Naik (Airoli) and Congress MLA Kalidas Kolambkar (Naigaon) handed over their resignation letters separately to Speaker Haribhau Bagade at the state legislature building Vidhan Bhawan in south Mumbai.

“I am more interested in protecting the interest of my assembly constituency,” said Bhosale, whose cousin Udayanraje Bhosale is NCP MP from Satara. Vaibhav Pichad hails from Akole tehsil in Ahmednagar district and is the son of former NCP minister Madhukar Pichad.

Vaibhav’s assembly segment adjoins that of Balasaheb Thorat, the new state Congress president. Maharashtra BJP leaders have been harping that the party aims to win at least 220 of the total 288 Assembly seats along with allies.

Kolambkar is a seven-term lawmaker from Mumbai, while Shivendrasinhraje Bhosale won the Satara seat in 2014 by 47,813 votes.

The four MLAs are likely to join the BJP tomorrow. These would be the latest inductions in the BJP ahead of Maharashtra Assembly polls due in just over two months. NCP’s Mumbai unit chief Sachin Ahir recently quit the party to join the Shiv Sena, while Jaydutt Kshirsagar, NCP leader and former Maharashtra Minister, joined the Shiv Sena in May.

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