2nd time in 5 years, Sushilkumar Shinde claims he got BJP ‘offer’ to switch parties
Mumbai: For the second time in five years, former Maharashtra Chief Minister and Union Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde on Wednesday claimed that he and his MLA daughter Praniti Shinde have “got offers to join the Bharatiya Janata Party”.
Not specifying when the lure from the BJP came or from whom, Shinde said this is despite the fact that he had lost the elections twice on Congress tickets.
Asked about his response, a smiling Shinde said that he is 83 now and has been a staunch Congress loyalist all his life, “so there’s no question of my daughter or me accepting any such offers”.
Queried by media persons, BJP state President Chandrashekhar Bawankule categorically denied that any such offer has been made to either Shinde or his daughter.
BJP MLA Nitesh N. Rane took a swipe at the Congress and said that since Shinde has lost hopes with his party, “now he’s trying to push his daughter to the BJP”.
Shinde shot back that he was not bothered about these reactions, but “a top BJP leader had given us the proposal to join, which we rejected outright”.
Senior Congress leader Yashomati Thakur said that the BJP has no talent and are trying to take away leaders from other parties, but expressed confidence that senior leaders like Shinde or his daughter would not deviate from the party.
Incidentally, in March 2019, just before the Lok Sabha elections, Shinde had made a similar statement that sent shockwaves in political circles, though it was trashed by senior BJP leaders even at that time.
This time, the situation is different as Shinde’s revelation came just three days after the abrupt exit of the high-profile Congress veteran, Milind M. Deora did the unthinkable by joining the Shiv Sena led by Chief Minister Eknath Shinde.
Besides, CM Shinde and other leaders have claimed that Deora’s departure “is just a trailer, the main picture is still to come”, sparking concerns among senior leaders of the grand old party, as memories of the June 2022 Shiv Sena split and the July 2023 Nationalist Congress Party breakup are still fresh in their minds.