Some BJP leaders in Maharashtra on Wednesday expressed shock and disappointment over former minister Eknath Khadse's decision to quit the party.
Earlier in the day, state minister Jayant Patil had said that Mr Khadse will join the ruling NCP on Friday.
Talking about Mr Khadse's move, BJP's state unit chief Chandrakant Patil said, "We were hopeful that Eknath Khadse would stay with the party, until I received his resignation today."
"We were optimistic about finding a solution through dialogue and move ahead irrespective of his disappointment with some leaders...I wish him good luck for his future journey," he said.
"It is a bitter truth for us that he has left the BJP," Mr Patil added.
"There was no need for him to step down from BJP's primary membership. He had worked for several years for the BJP and worked for various communities in the state," he said.
Senior leader and BJP's former state unit chief Sudhir Mungantiwar said the party needs to think about why Mr Khadse decided to quit.
Speaking to a regional news channel, he said, "Eknath Khadse's decision to leave the party has come as a major shock to the BJP's state unit. He had worked for the growth of the party for several years. I think the party needs to think why a senior leader like him decided to leave."
"Eknath Khadse was an astute leader of the party and we always saw him as one of the pioneers of the BJP in Maharashtra. I wish he rethinks his decision," Mr Mungantiwar said.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)