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At least 25 Congress, NCP MLAs ready to jump ship claims BJP leader

By Anuj Cariappa

New Delhi, June 09: Maharashtra water resources minister Girish Mahajan has claimed that at least 25 MLAs of the Congress and the NCP are in touch with the BJP.

Hinting at multiple defections to the BJP, he said the Opposition is likely to receive a major jolt ahead of the state assembly elections, due in September-October this year.

At least 25 Congress, NCP MLAs ready to jump ship claims BJP leader

"At least 25 MLAs of the Congress and the NCP are in touch with me. Some of them have either met me personally or called me over phone or have sent feelers through third party that they are interested in joining the BJP," the senior BJP leader told reporters.

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Mahajan, who has been serving as the guardian minister of Nashik, was Friday given the similar charge for Jalgaon district.

"State Congress president Ashok Chavan doesn't even know that those around him may switch sides anytime soon. The political situation is very much in favour of the BJP," said Mahajan, who is credited for the BJP sweep in local bodies elections and the Lok Sabha polls in north Maharashtra region.

Mahajan, a close aide of chief minister Devendra Fadnavis, said the Congress and the NCP together will not win more than 50 seats in the assembly polls.

He refuted the charge that the chief minister was personally calling MLAs of the Congress to make them defect.

"The BJP has made it clear to the new entrants that their entry is unconditional. We have to fulfill the commitments given to those leaders who had joined us earlier. The BJP does not like to give false commitments," he said.

Mahajan said senior Congress leader Radhakrishna Vikhe Patil might be inducted into the saffron party before the monsoon session of the state legislature beginning June 17.

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He said BJP president Amit Shah has convened an important meeting in Delhi on June 9 in which Fadnavis and other senior leaders from the state would participate.

In the 2014 elections, the BJP had won 122 seats, followed by ally Shiv Sena (63). The Congress and the NCP had won 41 and 41 seats, respectively.

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