Millennium Post

Setback to MNS as 4 ex-MLAs join BJP

The MNS leaders who switched over to BJP are its former MLAs Pravin Darekar, Vasant Gite, Ramesh Patil and Kashinath Mengal.

Maharashtra BJP president Raosaheb Danve inducted the four former MLAs along with some former office-bearers of zila parishads and panchayat samitis into the party.

The BJP said it was open to induct more workers from other parties as a part of its drive to enrol one crore members in Maharashtra. Darekar was known to be in Thackeray’s inner circle and was one of the senior most leaders in the MNS, while Gite was instrumental in establishing the party’s stronghold in Nashik.

Asked if Gite will try to split the MNS in the Nashik Municipal Corporation, the only civic body where the MNS is the single largest party, Danve replied, “The equation in Nashik may change due to Gite’s influence.”

Patil’s exit will cost the MNS dearly as the Kalyan-Dombivli Municipal Corporation, where the MNS is the second largest party, goes to polls later this year.

Tuesday’s development will add to the woes of MNS, which had drawn a blank in the 2014 general elections and won only one seat in the 288-member Maharashtra Assembly last year as opposed to 13 seats in 2009 polls.

Danve said the new entrants have come to the BJP fold due to their faith in the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and party chief Amit Shah.
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