Maharashtra: BJP gets Shivaji’s descendant

Welcoming Chhatrapati Shivaji’s direct descendant, Udayan Raje Bhosale of Satara, into the BJP, BJP president Amit Shah said the Devendra Fadnavis government has worked for the state’s all-round development and “restored” its pride in its five-year rule. Shah said the BJP and its alliance would receive even bigger support in the assembly polls after it had decimated the Congress-NCP alliance in the Lok Sabha polls in May this year.

Prior to joining the BJP on Saturday, Bhosale resigned from the Lok Sabha to which he was elected from Satara. A by-election will have to be held for the Satara Lok Sabha constituency. Bhosale has been insisting that the by-election be held along with the assembly elections in October. However, the Shiv Sena may pose a hurdle before the BJP as the seat is with them.

Bhosale joined the BJP in New Delhi at an event organised at the residence of Union home minister Amit Shah, who is also BJP national president. Maharashtra chief minister Devendra Fadnavis and state BJP president Chandrakant Patil were the other senior leaders present at the function.

“I was not feeling comfortable in the NCP. I was highly impressed because of the Modi government’s decision on Jammu and Kashmir,” Udayan Raje told the media after the event. He was referring to the nullification on August 5 of Article 370 which had granted special status to Jammu & Kashmir.

Patil said that Bhosale’s entry would strengthen the BJP in Maharashtra. “Bhosale was always mentally with the BJP even though he was in the NCP,” Patil noted.

BJP working president J.P. Nadda and general secretary Bhupender Yadav, who is his party's in-charge for the state polls, were also present on the occasion.

Bhosale updated all the developments of the day through his social media accounts, including his departure for the national capital along with CM Fadnavis. Bhosale has appealed to all residents of Satara to welcome Fadnavis’s ‘Maha Janadesh yatra’ on Sunday. Udayan Raje is expected to accompany Fadnavis on his yatra in Satara district.

Speaking at an event in Ahmednagar later on Saturday evening, Fadnavis said all descendants of Shivaji Maharaj are now with their party. Udayan Raje and cousin Shivendra Raje Bhosale, who are political rivals, are now with the BJP. Shivendra Raje too switched from the NCP to BJP recently. Reacting to the development, NCP spokesperson Nawab Malik alleged Udayan Raje had joined BJP in order to sell off the inherited “historical” lands of Shivaji Maharaj.

Meanwhile, former Satara district Congress president Anandrao Patil held a meeting of his supporters in Karad on Friday. He is expected to join the BJP in Karad during the CM’s yatra. Satyajit Deshmukh, son of senior Congress leader, the late Shivajirao Deshmukh, has also called a meeting of his supporters in Sangli on Sunday.

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