Hordes of prominent NCP leaders have been joining BJP before the Maharashtra Assembly Elections and Udayanraje Bhosale could be the next one to leave Sharad Pawar’s clan. Chhatrapati Shivaji’s descendant Udayanraje Bhosale is not only one of the four NCP MPs from Maharashtra but also belongs to the party’s stronghold region, Satara. A senior leader has also shown speculations over Bhosale’s continuation in the NCP party. However, the NCP leader Dhananjay Munde has accused BJP of 'spreading rumours' on Bhosale’s split from the party.
Udayanraje Bhosale met the Chief Minister of Maharashtra Devendra Fadnavis in Mumbai on Tuesday. Following this meeting, Bhosale saw the NCP patriarch Sharad Pawar at his residence on Thursday. While Bhosale’s back to back meetings with both the leaders have raised speculations over his stay in the NCP party, the NCP leader Dhananjay Munde has denied agreeing to the same. Munde said, “Today's meeting was about the party's overall campaign strategy.” When asked about the possible party shift, Munde asserted that, "Some sections of the BJP were deliberately spreading rumours about his crossing over, to divert people's attention from key issues."
However, a senior leader on the condition of being anonymous said that Udayanraje Bhosale’s decision was not yet clear. He claimed, "Pawar probably has his biggest following in Satara. It will be too difficult for Bhosale to quit NCP and get re-elected on another party's ticket from there.” Bhosale has also praised the CM of Maharashtra Devendra Fadnavis on earlier occasions for ensuring development in the Satara region. On the other hand, Udayanraje Bhosale has accused the previous Congress-NCP government of creating 'obstacles' in the development of his constituency. Shivendrasinh Bhosale, Udayanraje’s cousin and NCP's Satara MLA, has also joined the BJP recently.
Bringing a shift in the political circles of the entire Konkan region, former state minister and NCP's Navi Mumbai strongman Ganesh Naik joined the BJP on Wednesday. A flock of 60 NCP corporators from Navi Mumbai Municipal Corporation also shifted to BJP with Ganesh Naik. Another exit from NCP had come ahead of the assembly polls as the former minister of state for urban development and ex-NCP state unit president, Bhaskar Jadhav joined Shiv Sena on Wednesday as well. While Jadav has his stronghold in Ratnagiri district, Naik is a heavyweight in from Navi Mumbai and Raigad district.