After the disastrous showing of the party in the Lok Sabha elections, several Congressmen in the city are all set to abandon the party for the BJP.
A Congress MLA in the western suburbs is in waiting to join the BJP. A close relative of the MLA, who has a large business and educational empire, is said to have met BJP national president Rajnath Singh before the conduct of the general elections and expressed his intentions to join the BJP.
"It is a matter of time before he makes the move. He is waiting for the right moment and there is hardly any time left for the assembly elections. Besides, he does not enjoy cordial relations with the erstwhile Congress MP. Since assembly elections are anyway due, there is not much the party can do," said a Congressman.
"Most of the Congressmen have realised that it will be a very tough assembly election with next to impossible chance of the Congress-NCP alliance returning to power in the state. In Mumbai, the Congress has been wiped out and very few assembly segments in Mumbai have recorded a Congress lead in the recently concluded Lok Sabha elections. Besides, the Congress has lost all the six parliamentary seats. There is no hope, therefore they are bound to make a beeline," said a Congressmen.
"There are many willing to abandon a sinking ship. Some of them are in talks with our party leadership. In the days to come you will see a lot of movement. However, it is not that the party is waiting with open arms to welcome all the rebels into the BJP and give them tickets. We have to consider the local conditions like our own party men and also our alliance partners into account, before assuring anything to the rebels," said a BJP office-bearer.
Mumbai Regional Congress Committee (MRCC) president Janardhan Chandurkar denied that anybody is leaving. "When the skies have fallen, there will be this kind of speculation. Whoever wants to go will anyway go. The Congress party has a history of 120 years, so people come and go. All the six parliamentary seats have been captured by the BJP-Sena alliance, we are happy for them that they have swept the election and we have to accept this fact. It is a democracy and we will function as an opposition party and do our job," he said.