Sandip Naik confirms the big switch, but Naik senior will wait for some more time
Airoli NCP MLA Sandip Naik who resigned from the state Assembly on Tuesday confirmed that he would be joining the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Wednesday. There was, however, no confirmation on former minister Ganesh Naik’s entry into the BJP.
Naik’s supporter corporators assembled in large numbers at Naik’s office along the Thane-Belapur road on Tuesday. They, however, returned, after a wait of more than three hours, as Naik failed to turn up, leaving the corporators and supporters guessing.
Meanwhile, BJP minister Ravindra Chavan met Navi Mumbai BJP president Ramchandra Bhagat to ensure there is no opposition to Naik’s entry to the BJP. “Sandip Naik and the corporators will join the BJP at a function in Mumbai on Wednesday,” he said. On the issue of senior Naik, he said: “We have only discussed Sandip Naik’s entry to the party.”
While the local leaders claimed all 52 NCP corporators will quit the party, it does not seem to be the case. Former deputy mayor and senior NCP corporator Ashok Gawde said he will not ditch the NCP for the BJP. He said he will not betray Sharad Pawar when the party is going through tough times.
Gawde, who had joined the NCP when Pawar formed the party, even before Ganesh Naik, said, “I will stay with NCP. I will not change my party… My daughter, corporator Sapna Gawde, too, will stay with the NCP.”