Former NCP MLAs join BJP


In a major blow to Opposition unity in Maharashtra, three MLAs from the NCP and one from the Congress joined the ruling BJP on July 31, a day after they tendered their resignations from the Legislative Assembly.

The BJP might field the four in the assembly elections due later this year, depending on how the seat-sharing deal between the BJP and ally Shiv Sena shapes up, sources in the saffron party said.

The three NCP MLAs who switched their loyalties are Shivendraraje Bhosale from Satara, Sandeep Naik from Airoli in Navi Mumbai, and Vaibhav Pichad from Akole in Ahmednagar district. The lone Congress MLA is Kalidas Kolambkar from Wadala in Mumbai.

The MLAs joined the ruling party in the presence of Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis and state BJP unit president Chandrakant Patil on July 31 Wednesday morning.

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