Pune: In a surprise development, former BJP MP Anna Joshi has left the party to fight the state assembly election from Pune on NCP ticket, giving a jolt to the saffron alliance here.
Joshi, one of the seniormost BJP leaders from the city and a two-time MLA before he became MP, will file his nomination as NCP candidate from Kothrud constituency where the Shiv Sena-Bjp alliance has fielded Chandrakant Mokate (SS), according to NCP spokesman Ankush Kakde.
Cracks in the BJP city unit have surfaced with Joshi’s cross-over to a party which is ideologically opposite with its secular plank.
According to BJP sources, Anna Joshi was a disillusioned man after he was denied party ticket in the last Lok Sabha and again for the ensuing assembly elections from Pune.
Joshi had also held the post of deputy speaker of Maharashtra Assembly in the past.
Another highlight of the nominations for eight assembly seats from Pune city was the candidature of Rohit Tilak, direct descendant of Lokmanya Tilak whom Congress has fielded from Kasaba Peth constituency.
He is the grandson of late speaker of the state assembly Jayantrao Tilak and will be locked in a fight against sitting BJP MLA Girish Bapat.
Meanwhile, Shiv Sena has denied reports that it was facing a rebellion against its party candidate Chandrakant Mokate, who will be taking on Anna Joshi from Kothrud constituency, after grievances aired by its activist Shyam Deshpande, who aspired for the seat.