Several legislators from the Nationalist Congress Party and the Congress were in contact with the ruling BJP, newly-appointed Maharashtra BJP president Chandrakant Patil claimed on Thursday. He asserted that the Opposition camp would witness a spate of resignations in the coming week.“Had the Opposition MLAs resigned six months before the Assembly election, then it would have facilitated bypolls. Now with the Assembly elections barely three months away, a number of Congress and NCP legislators will be resigning in the coming 8-10 days. A number of their MLAs are in touch with us. They will be given entry in our party at the appropriate moment,” he told reporters before his tour of Solapur and Osmanabad districts.Mr. Patil, who is the Revenue Minister, however, refused to disclose any names. “Where is the fun once I reveal names. The joy of life is in its uncertainty,” he said.The top leadership of the Congress and the NCP had utterly lost people’s confidence following their rout in the recently Lok Sabha elections. “With its top leadership busy tendering their resignations, how can they [Congress-NCP leadership] expect their underlings to carry on working for the party” he asked.When asked if the entry of turncoats and their being given tickets would disgruntle loyalists, Mr. Patil said that no injustice would be done to BJP old-timers.“We only take steps to candidates or give ticket to nominees if we discern any winning potential in them. We changed candidates on as many as seven Lok Sabha seats [in Maharashtra] and all those who were newly awarded tickets carried the day for us,” he said. The BJP- Shiv Sena was planning its strategy in such a way that the coalition would win at least 220 Assembly seats.Mr. Patil reiterated that there was no ambiguity on the question of an alliance between the BJP and the Shiv Sena. Only the precise nature of the seat-sharing arrangement remained to be known. “There is no doubt whatsoever on the question of an alliance, only what will be its nature is known only to Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, Sena preident Uddhav Thackeray and BJP national president Amit Shah,” he said.State Congress head dismisses Patil’s claim Meanwhile, newly-appointed Maharashtra Pradesh Congress Committee (MPCC) chief Balasaheb Thorat rubbished Mr. Patil’s ‘disclosure’ of Congress legislators resigning and joining the BJP as “ludicrous” and “laughable”.“There is no grain of truth in his [Mr. Patil’s] claims,” Mr. Thorat said in Mumbai. Dr. Vishwajeet Kadam, Congress MLA from Palus-Kadegaon in Sangli district, too, dismissed the BJP State chief’s “Goebbels-like rumours” as deliberately designed to mislead and create misconceptions just before the Assembly polls.“This is all the BJP’s doing. With such claims, Chandrakant Patil is deliberately trying to pollute the political climate just before the Assembly elections,” said Dr. Kadam, who is also one of the five newly-appointed working presidents of the MPCC. Earlier, Mr. Patil, in a remark that hinted at Dr. Kadam’s possible defection to the BJP, had said that it ought to come as no surprise if one of the five working presidents of the MPCC joined the BJP in the next 15-20 days. “Such statements [on Mr. Patil’s part] are utterly meaningless and unfounded…Like my father, the late Dr. Patagrao Kadam, I will always continue to remain a Congress loyalist,” Dr. Kadam stressed.
Now, new Maharashtra BJP chief hints at a Karnataka-like situation in his State