Maharashtra BJP looks to poach Congress leaders in Mumbai ahead of election

Around nine former Congress corporators from Mumbai will join the BJP on Monday in the presence of Mumbai BJP chief Ashish Shelar and Maharashtra deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis. The development comes as the NDA is looking to “poach” some Congress leaders in Mumbai ahead of the Lok Sabha and Assembly election.

In the past couple of weeks, two senior Congress leaders in Mumbai — Milind Deora and Baba Siddique — have quit the party. While Deora has joined the Eknath Shinde-led Shiv Sena, Baba Siddique will join the Ajit Pawar-led Nationalist Congress Party.

The development indicates NDA’s focus on Mumbai ahead of the crucial polls. In the 2019 Lok Sabha polls, all seats in Mumbai were won by the NDA, which comprised an undivided Shiv Sena and the BJP.

A survey by India Today’s Mood of the Nation (MOTN) has revealed that the Opposition INDIA bloc, comprising Congress, Uddhav Thackeray-led Sena and Sharad Pawar-led NCP, hold an edge in Maharashtra in the upcoming Lok Sabha election.

The opinion poll predicted 26 seats for the Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA). The BJP and its NDA allies, on the other hand, are predicted to win 22 seats out of the total 48 Lok Sabha seats in the state if Lok Sabha elections were held today.

The Congress is projected to win 12 seats in Maharashtra, while its allies are likely to win 14 seats combined. The Mood of the Nation poll projected the INDIA bloc to get 45 per cent vote share, while the NDA is likely to get 40 per cent.

In January, former Union Minister Milind Deora resigned from the Congress party, ending his family’s 55-year relationship with the party. He joined the Shiv Sena, led by Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde.

On Thursday, former minister Baba Siddique also quit the Congress after having an association of close to five decades. Siddique (65), an important face of Mumbai, expressed resentment over the state of affairs in the Congress.

Published By:

Abhishek De

Published On:

Feb 10, 2024

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