Bharatiya Janata Party has managed to net the NCP strongman from Bhiwandi, Kapil Patil.
Patil, the chairman of the district co-operative bank and former president of the zilla parishad, formally joined the party in the presence of senior leaders in the state, including Gopinath Munde.
Patil will be the BJP candidate from Bhiwandi Lok Sabha constituency, and will take on Vishwanath Patil of the Congress. The party has, however, not made any official announcement in this regard.
Patil was earlier also associated with BJP and was the leader of the Kunbi Sena. The Congress had, in fact, dropped sitting MP Suresh Taware and nominated Patil after taking into account the caste combination in the constituency, which has a concentration of Kunbis and Agris.
Earlier, there were speculations that BJP MLA and construction magnate Mangal Prabhat Lodha would be nominated to fight the seat. All that has been put to rest now.
Patil later told the media that he had joined the BJP as he believed development would take place only under Narendra Modi.
'Threatening Gavit wrong'
Gopinath Munde, meanwhile, told the media that it was wrong to threaten somebody for his daughter joining another party. He was referring to the statements made by deputy chief minister Ajit Pawar, who had said medical education minister Vijaykumar Gavit would be dropped from the cabinet if his daughter, Heena Gavit, joined the BJP.
Munde also said he had never seen such pressure being mounted on somebody to stop their kin from joining another party. Sources in BJP claimed Gavit was all set to join the party and was likely to be nominated as the candidate from Nandurbar LS constituency.
Meanwhile, Vijaykumar Gavit hinted even on Tuesday that he intended to leave NCP.