Politics

Induction of Leaders from Other Parties Strengthened BJP, Says Maharashtra Party Chief Chandrakant Patil

Induction of Leaders from Other Parties Strengthened BJP, Says Maharashtra Party Chief Chandrakant Patil

Mumbai: Maharashtra BJP president Chandrakant Patil on Saturday said induction of leaders from other parties in 2014 and 2019 actually strengthened his party, two days after he claimed that the "mass influx" of such leaders had diluted the BJP culture.

Patil said the induction decision was taken by the BJP core committee and not by any particular individual. "Our party actually gained strength due to leaders from other parties. Despite the BJP failing to form a government this time, they have remained with us," Patil told reporters here.

The Kothrud MLA said the remarks made by him at an event in Pimpri Chinchwad in Pune on Thursday were distorted by media.

Patil had said that Bhosari BJP MLA Mahesh Landge had told him he had tears in his eyes when the BJP gave him the ticket for the 2019 Assembly polls.

"He felt good that in this party, no one needs to keep pushing to get a ticket. That is the culture of our party and, somewhere, that culture was diluted due to the mega bharti (mass induction). We need to re-develop the earlier culture," he said.

A video recording of the function, aired on several media outlets, shows Patil saying that the system of giving tickets to those close to the heart must be stopped. However, Patil told reporters in Mumbai on Saturday afternoon that the BJP was proud of the inductees from other parties, as they have "strengthened the saffron party".

"We have no regret over inducting the turncoats from other parties. We did not lose anything due to their induction. What I meant (on Thursday) was that these leaders, who came from different parties, needed to be told about the culture and functioning of the BJP, which they have understood well," he said.

Taking a subtle swipe at the Congress and Shiv Sena, Patil said the BJP was not a "family party which revolves around an individual".

"We are a cadre-based party. The BJP does not belong even to prime minister Narendra Modi or (late PM) Atal Bihari Vajpayee. We believe in collective decision-making," he said.

Patil said only 27 of the total 164 candidates fielded by the BJP in the 2019 assembly polls were from other paties.