Maharashtra NCP legislator quits, to join BJP

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Mumbai, May 23 (IANS) The Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) received a jolt on Wednesday when its Maharashtra legislator Niranjan Davkhare quit the party and his legislative council seat.

Davkhare, 39, the son of the late NCP leader Vasant Davkhare, will join the Bharatiya Janata Party on Thursday in the presence of Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis and other senior leaders, a party (BJP) spokesperson said.

A stunned NCP hit back this afternoon by suspending him from the party membership for a period of six years. The action came for his anti-party utterances and other grounds, said General Secretary Shivajirao Garje.

In a brief statement after submitting his resignation to NCP state President Jayant Patil, Davkhare said: “I am feeling very sad to leave the NCP. I had witnessed the birth and growth of NCP along with my father. But I am totally fed up with the local intra-party politics.”A

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Davkhare also called on Legislative Council Chairman Ramraje Naik-Nimbalkar and resigned from his MLC seat, to which he was elected in 2012, and barely a month ahead of the upcoming bye-polls to the upper house next month.

Among the closest aides of NCP President Sharad Pawar, Davkhare’s father ruled the roost in Thane for over 24 years as legislative councillor despite the fact that Shiv Sena ruled the Thane Municipal Corporation, and also functioned as Deputy Chairman of the Maharashtra Upper House.

The Election Commission has announced another round of elections to two Graduates and two Teachers Division constituencies in the upper house to be held on June 8.

The four retiring members are: Apoorva P. Hiray (BJP) from Nashik Division Teachers constituency, Kapil Patil (JD-U) of Mumbai Division Teachers constituency, Deepak Sawant (Shiv Sena) from Mumbai Division Graduates constituency and Davkhare from Konkan Division Graduates constituency.

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However, presently it is not clear if Davkhare will be given a BJP ticket to contest the bypolls to the state legislature’s upper House next month.

–IANS

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