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Kripashankar, Urmila not decided where to switch?

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Just ahead of Maharashtra Assembly elections, actress-turned-politician Urmila Matondkar and once a strong leader of Mumbai Congress Kripashankar Singh have resigned from the Congress. There are speculations that Kripashankar Singh, Urmila Matondkar and many more Congress-NCP leaders will join the BJP. Although, they have not decided where to switch. NCP leader Ganesh Naik and Congress leader Harshvardhan Patil joined the ruling BJP on Wednesday. Prior to this, NCP MLAs Shivendrasinhraje Bhosale, Vaibhav Pichad and Sandeep Naik and Congress MLA Kalidas Kolambkar switched over to the BJP. Similarly, Sachin Ahir, Jaydutt Kshirsagar, Dilip Sopal, Rashmi Bagal and Dhanraj Mahale of NCP and Dileep Mane of Congress are big names who joined the Shiv Sena recently. The list of opposition leaders willing to join the BJP and the Shiv Sena is long. In near future many leaders will change their allegiance and get entry in ruling alliance.

When our correspondent Nikhil Sagare spoke to Congress MLA Arif Naseem Khan he said, “Congress won’t get affected due to resignation of Kripashankar Singh. It is unfortunate. If he is trying to play opportunistic politics then it doesn’t augur well for him.”

It is remarkable that state Assembly elections are due in a couple of months. Before this, it seems that there is a bee line from opposition Congress-NCP to ruling alliance BJP-Shiv Sena in the state. Every leader resigning from Congress and NCP is joining either the BJP or Shiv Sena. Therefore, Urmila Matondkar might join the BJP, the possibility of this cannot be denied. As per another report, Urmila is supposed to join the Shiv Sena. After Urmila’s resignation from the Congress, senior Shiv Sena leader Priyanka Chaturvedi tweeted, “Karma has no deadline.” Before this tweet she tweeted, “Jako rakhe saian, mar sake na koy (whose saver is god, no one can kill him).”  Actually, Priyanka Chaturvedi wanted to contest the Lok Sabha election from Mumbai as Congress candidate. But she was denied and the party gave ticket to Urmila Matondkar. So, Priyanka Chaturvedi quit Congress and joined the Shiv Sena. But within six months, Urmila left Congress due to petty in-house politics in the party. She contested the Lok Sabha elections from Mumbai North seat as a Congress candidate but lost to senior BJP leader Gopal Shetty. Urmila Matondkar had joined the Congress in March. Then she had said, “I am here because I believe in the ideology of Congress and what the party stands for. I have not joined the party for the sake of elections.”

On the other hand, Kripashankar Singh has said that he might reconsider his resignation if the Congress party changes its stand on Article 370. He quit the party over difference with the party on Article 370. But last week CM Devendra Fadnavis and Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray visited his residence to offer prayers to Lord Ganesha. According to sources, he may join the BJP. The party lacks a strong face of north Indians in Mumbai. Kripashankar Singh is the fittest person to fill this gap. He will not join Shiv Sena as he lost last Assembly elections to Shiv Sena candidate from Kalina seat. Sena will not allow him to contest from this seat. He wants his wife to get ticket from Kalina. If the BJP and the Shiv Sena do not ally in upcoming Assembly elections, the BJP may give Kalina seat to his wife.

It is worth mentioning that after landslide victory of PM Narendra Modi in the parliamentary elections, political scenario in Maharashtra has changed completely. The BJP-Shiv Sena combine won 41 of the 48 Lok Sabha seats in Maharashtra, while NCP won 4 seats and the Congress could win only one seat. As per surveys, the BJP can win over 150 seats in Assembly elections if it fights elections without any alliance.

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