Ahead of the upcoming crucial bypolls in the state, former BJP Maharashtra unit Vice President Bhaskarrao Patil-Khatgaonkar and former legislator Omprakash A Pokarna joined the Congress. This is a major hit for the BJP as the Dewlglur Assembly by-elections are scheduled for October 30, and the new joiners are expected to boost the chances of Congress in the district.
The two leaders announced their decision at a joint press conference on Sunday afternoon in the presence of Congress' Nanded strongman and Public Works Minister Ashok Chavan.
Patil-Khatgaonkar is the son-in-law of former Congress party stalwart and Union minister, the late SB Chavan and brother-in-law of Ashok Chavan. A three-time MP and MLA and two-time state minister, he quit the Congress in 2014.
Pokarna, too, joined the BJP in 2014. A former Nanded Mayor and legislator, he has now decided to return to the Congress with Patil-Khatgaonkar.
Meanwhile, in Deglur, the Congress has nominated Jitesh Antapur, and the BJP has fielded Subhash Sabne. Jitesh Antapur is the son of late MLA Raosaheb Antapurkar. Subhash Sabne is an ex-Shiv Sena legislator who joined the BJP recently. Ashok Chavan and other Congress leaders also welcomed several other office bearers ad activists who are also walking over to the Congress.