Son of ex-Maharashtra Dy CM from NCP to join BJP

IANS
Addressing workers, Ranjitsinh asked: "How long should they tolerate injustice? Now is the time to take the final decision," amid a roar of approval from his supporters. All of them want Ranjitsinh to contest on a BJP ticket.

Solapur: After a major show of strength in his hometown Akluj here on Tuesday evening, Ranjitsinh, son of Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) MP and former Deputy Chief Minister Vijaysinh Mohite-Patil, announced he would join the Bharatiya Janata Party tomorrow.

Addressing workers, Ranjitsinh asked: "How long should they tolerate injustice? Now is the time to take the final decision," amid a roar of approval from his supporters. All of them want Ranjitsinh to contest on a BJP ticket.

He praised the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, BJP President Amit Shah and Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis in his brief speech.

Earlier this morning, in a tweet he had sought "guidance from the party workers" who have supported the Mohite-Patil family for decades, amidst a tussle with his 75-year-old father to grab the NCP Lok Sabha ticket from Madha constituency.

"You tell me what to do: Should we bear with it ('injustice'), or hit back for our future, progress and development? You decide, and it will be my decision," Ranjitsinh said, in an emotional build-up to the meeting of his supporters for this evening in Akluj, Solapur.

As per present indications, he will formally join the BJP tomorrow afternoon in the presence of Fadnavis, state party chief Raosaheb Danve-Patil and other leaders in Mumbai.

Preparing early for his exit from NCP, late on Monday evening, Ranjitsinh expressed his deepest condolences over passing away of Goa Chief Minister Manohar Parikkar, and was later closeted in meeting with state Water Resources Minister Girish Mahajan.

Ranjitsinh's joining the BJP will be the second major shock for the NCP which last week tottered on the brink: Parth Ajit Pawar had announced that he would be a contender for Maval Lok Sabha seat.

On the other hand, NCP President Sharad Pawar had already indicated his plans to contest from Madha. This would have meant three persons from the Pawar family -- Supriya Sule-Pawar, Parth and Shard Pawar himself -- contesting. So, Pawar quietly withdrew from the race and averted a major crisis within the party, which enjoys the national party status.

In the case of Mohite-Patil family, the NCP has not yet announced any candidate for Madha in the two lists declared so far, creating a panic situation in the Mohite-Patil clan.

An awkward situation could arise if Vijaysinh Mohite-Patil is fielded from Madha from where the BJP plans to nominate his son Ranjitsinh Mohite-Patil, forcing an unprecedented father-son electoral contest in Maharashtra.

For the opposition Congress-NCP alliance, it will be a third big setback during the pre-poll season. Only last week, Sujay, the son of Leader of Opposition Radhakrishna Vikhe-Patil, walked over to the BJP and is likely to get a party ticket from the Vikhe-Patils' stronghold, Ahmednagar.

At that time, the NCP had reacted sharply, prompting a retaliatory threat by Radhakrishna Vikhe-Patil to boycott campaigning for the NCP in Ahmednagar.

Both, NCP and Congress have not reacted to the latest developments culminating in Ranjitsinh's decision to join the BJP.