Maharashtra Congress leader Radhakrishna Vikhe Patil might join the BJP after Prime Minister Narendra Modi takes oath for his second term on May 30, a senior BJP minister said today. He also said that Mr Patil's entry into the BJP fold would be unconditional.
According to the news agency ANI, Maharashtra Irrigation Minister Girish Dattatray Mahajan today said that Congress leader Radhakrishna Vikhe Patil will join the BJP on June 1.
The two leaders met at the latter's residence today in Mumbai. "After Narendra Modi's oath on May 30 as the Prime Minister of the country for the second time, Patil will join the BJP on June 1," said Mr Mahajan.
However, Mr Patil, who had resigned as the Leader of Opposition in the Maharashtra Legislative Assembly in the run up to Lok Sabha elections, remained tight-lipped about his next political course.
Mr Patil said he had come to thank Mr Mahajan for the latter's support in ensuring his son Sujay's victory from Ahmednagar Lok Sabha constituency.
"I openly campaigned for my son who contested as a BJP candidate. So, action was taken against me. Denial of a ticket to my son was injustice. This shows the policy of the Congress," he charged.
Mr Patil said he had not resigned as a lawmaker. "I am not in touch with any MLAs," he added.
Responding to a query on his plans to join the BJP, Mr Patil replied that nothing has been decided as of now. He said he had met Mr Mahajan, who also holds Medical Education portfolio, earlier over the Maratha reservation issue.
"I run a medical college. I discussed with him the issue of the court scrapping the Maratha quota for medical courses," Mr Patil said.
Mr Mahajan said Mr Patil's entry into the BJP fold is a formality now.
Mr Mahajan, who is believed to be a close confidant of Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, clarified that Mr Patil's entry into the BJP will be unconditional.
Mr Mahajan further added that many lawmakers of the Congress and the NCP are in touch with the BJP.
"Nobody wants to be with the Congress and the NCP now. But, we too have limitations to add new entrants," he said, adding that not more than 60 MLAs of the Congress and the NCP would get elected in the upcoming Assembly elections.
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