Days after his son Sujay jumped ship to the BJP, senior Maharashtra Congress leader Radhakrishna Vikhe Patil has given the party a major jolt by resigning from his position as leader of the Opposition in the Maharashtra assembly.
Radhakrishna Vikhe Patil sent his resignation letter to the Congress party's high-command in New Delhi, with confirmation of his step coming a week after sources told Republic TV of the tremendous pressure he was under on account of his son's decision.
Vikhe Patil - the MLA from Maharashtra's Shirdi constituency - had sought the Ahmednagar Lok Sabha seat for his son. However, the Sharad Pawar-led NCP which is a pre-poll ally of the Congress spurned his request, following which Sujay Vikhe Patil joined the BJP.
Upon being inducted into the party by Maharashtra Chief Minister, Sujay Vikhe Patil had said that he had made the jump on account of the BJP's work in Ahmednagar:
"The way BJP has worked in Ahmednagar in the last five years has impressed me and I have decided that it’s best to work and help in the development of Ahmednagar and that’s why I had to take this tough decision. I know senior BJP cadre will always support me and guide me towards the development of Ahmednagar".
The Congress has finalised its seat-sharing arrangement with the NCP in Maharashtra, retaining 26 seats and giving 22 to its electoral ally. Maharashtra will is set to go into polls in four phases in April 11, 18, 23 and 29.
As per Republic TV-CVoter's National Approval Ratings, however, it promises to be an uphill battle for the Congress as the BJP-Shiv Sena alliance is projected to win 35 out of the 48 total seats, leaving the UPA-Congress with just 13 seats. The seat-share projection is also corroborated by the vote-share projections, with the NDA projected to get 46.5% of the vote and the NCP-Congress alliance, 40.5%.
National Approval Ratings: After BJP-Shiv Sena Alliance, NDA Is Predicted To Make A Clean Sweep In Maharashtra, UPA Falls Far Behind
The projections for March represent a major shift from the pre-Sena-BJP alliance survey where the UPA was projected to win 28, the BJP, 16, and the Shiv Sena, just 4.