NCP seeing exodus of leaders to Sena, BJP

 Ahead of next month's assembly polls in Maharashtra, Sharad Pawar-led Nationalist Congress Party is witnessing an exodus with even ministers and sitting MLAs joining Shiv Sena and BJP.

Mumbai: Ahead of next month's assembly polls in Maharashtra, Sharad Pawar-led Nationalist Congress Party is witnessing an exodus with even ministers and sitting MLAs joining Shiv Sena and BJP.

To a lesser extent, NCP's former ally Congress too is witnessing the same phenomenon.

Sena and BJP, in alliance, bagged 42 out of the 48 Lok Sabha seats in the state in the May 2014 elections.

Junior NCP ministers in Maharashtra government Sanjay Savkhare and Uday Samant have joined BJP and Shiv Sena respectively.

Former union minister Suryakanta Patil and Vijay Kumar Gavit, former Medical Education Minister, have joined BJP.

Former state NCP chief Babanrao Pachpute is another senior leader to quit the party and join BJP.

Vijay Kamble who handled NCP's labour cell, Vasant Vani, sitting MLAs Kisan Kathore and Laxman Jagtap, former MLC Ram Pandagale are among others from the party who have joined BJP.

From Congress, former Nanded MP and brother-in-law of (former Chief Minister) Ashok Chavan, Bhaskarrao Patil-Khatgaonkar and sitting Panvel MLA Prashant Thakur have joined BJP.

Subhash Bane and Ganpat Kadam, who had joined Congress with Narayan Rane when he quit Shiv Sena, have returned to their parent party. Another Rane aide Rajan Teli has switched sides from Congress to NCP, while Ravindra Phatak has joined Shiv Sena.

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