In a big jolt to the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP), Congress leader and home minister RR Patil’s arch rival Ajit Ghorpade joined the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in the presence of Union minister Nitin Gadkari at Kawthe-Mahankal in Tasgaon taluka, Patil’s constituency in Sangli, on Saturday.
Launching a blistering attack on the Democratic Front government, Gadkari said, “Chief minister Prithviraj Chavan is the most inefficient chief minister of Maharashtra. He never took any decision. RR Patil just talks, but does nothing.”
Gadkari said the BJP had brought projects worth Rs42,000 crore to Maharashtra, after the Narendra Modi government took over in Delhi.
“We have several projects on the cards, which will change the life of rural Maharashtra,” he said.
Stating that Patil had neglected the drought-prone areas in the state, Ghorpade said, “He had the power to bring water schemes to his constituency when the farmers were dying because of paucity of water, but he did not do so.”
Ghorpade’s decision comes as a severe blow to the ruling government, as he has considerable clout and had actively campaigned against Congress candidate Pratik Patil in the Lok Sabha election, which led to the victory of BJP candidate Sanjay Kaka Patil with a huge margin.
The BJP has gone ahead with Ghorpade’s induction, even as the Tasgaon seat is being contested by the Sena ever since the alliance was formed. Sena leaders are disappointed with the BJP for unilaterally announcing its decision to give the seat to
Known to be a rebel, Ghorpade has always challenged established leaders. He has become an MLA twice and was also
the minister of state for a brief period. Ghorpade had contested the 2009 Lok Sabha election as a BJP-sponsored candidate.