Mumbai: In a big setback to the Nationalist Congress Party in Maharashtra, Ranjitsinh Mohite Patil, son of senior NCP leader and sitting MP Vijaysinh Mohite Patil, joined the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Wednesday in Mumbai. Ranjitsinh Mohite Patil is likely to contest from the Madha Lok Sabha seat in Solapur district. He was a Rajya Sabha MP and also a Member of Maharashtra legislature.
This is the second big exit from Opposition Congress-NCP alliance this month. Senior Congress leader and leader of Opposition in Maharashtra assembly Radhakrishna Vikhe Patil's son Sujay Vikhe Patil joined the BJP some days back. Sujay Vikhe Patil is likely to be BJP's candidate from the Ahmednagar constituency. Also, the exit of two young politicians from formidable Maratha political dynasties has caused a big shift towards the BJP in the power dynamics in Ahmednagar and Solapur districts.
Like Sujay Vikhe Patil, Ranjitsinh Mohite Patil, too, said he was joining the BJP because it was the most development and aspiration-oriented political dispensation in the country.
Chief minister Devendra Fadnavis said at Mohite Patil's induction that the BJP would win both Madha and Solapur Lok Sabha seats. Congress veteran and former chief minister Sushil Kumar Shinde is contesting from Solapur. The NCP is yet to name its nominee from Madha, though it has denied ticket to Vijaysinh Mohite Patil or his son.
Vijaysinh Mohite Patil was one of the only four NCP candidates who won against the Modi wave in 2014. Last month, NCP chief Sharad Pawar indicated he would contest from Madha, but later withdrew from the fray. However, the Pawar family has given ticket to former deputy chief minister Ajit Pawar's son Parth from the Maval constituency, while Sharad Pawar's daughter Supriya Sule is seeking re-election from Baramati. This is learnt to have prompted Ranjitsinh Mohite Patil to join the BJP.
On Tuesday, the Mohite Patils held a public meeting in their hometown Akluj in Solapur, where they asked their supporters whether they should join the BJP. The supporters wholeheartedly supported the decision. At this meeting, Vijaysinh Mohite Patil also announced that his son's decision had his blessings. Vijaysinh Mohite Patil is one of the senior-most NCP leaders and had a stint as deputy chief minister during the Congress-NCP rule in Maharashtra.