Maharashtra Assembly election 2019: Big blow to NCP as Ganesh Naik joins BJP

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Updated: September 11, 2019 8:10:28 PM

Speculations about Ganesh Naik joining the BJP were doing rounds ever since his son Sandeep Naik joined the saffron party earlier this year.

Ganesh Naik is a Navi Mumbai strongman (ANI Image)Ganesh Naik is a Navi Mumbai strongman (ANI Image)

Former Maharashtra minister Ganesh Naik and Congress leader Harshvardhan Patil joined the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Wednesday in the presence of Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis. The move is being seen as a huge jolt to the Sharad Pawar-led Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) and the Congress ahead of the Maharashtra assembly elections slated to be held later this year.

Patil, a four-time MLA from Indapur, had served as minister in all the governments since 1995. However, in 2014 assembly elections, when both Congress and NCP contested the election separately, he was defeated by NCP candidate Dattatray Bharne. Patil is the third leader after Balasaheb Vikhe-Patil and Abdul Sattar to quit the grand old party after the Lok Sabha election debacle. In Maharashtra, the Congress had bagged only one seat- Chandrapur.

Earlier on September 9, 2019, Madhav Bhandari, BJP’s chief spokesperson in Maharashtra had confirmed of Navi Mumbai’s strongman joining the saffron party.

Several other prominent leaders from the opposition parties are also likely to join the BJP in the coming days. Bhandari had claimed that BJP is the party where the political leaders can view their future. “Several other leaders are in touch with us. They will be joining the BJP in the near future. Everyone knows that BJP is the party where every politician can see his future, so they are switching over to the BJP,” Bhandari had told ANI.

Speculations about Ganesh Naik joining the BJP were doing rounds ever since his son Sandeep Naik joined the saffron party earlier this year. Sandeep had quit the NCP to join the BJP on July 31, 2019.

On Sunday, Uttar Pradesh’s Deputy Chief Minister Keshav Prasad Maurya had said that the BJP will secure a grand victory in Maharashtra Assembly elections. Maurya is also the co-in-charge for the upcoming assembly elections in the state.

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