NCP plays down MLA’s defection

State NCP president Jayant Patel on Tuesday downplayed the defection of party MLA from Devgadh Baria Tusharsinh Maharaul, who had joined BJP the previous day.

"Tusharsinh has struck a deal with Modi, who would help him get back his disputed land in his area," Patel alleged. He said the NCP would field 18 to 20 candidates this time, including himself and Pankaj Chauhan as a replacement for Tusharsinh in Devgadh Baria.

With the defection of Tusharsinh Maharaul, the NCP now has two MLAs, Chandu Vaghasiya from Gondal in Rajkot district and Jayant Patel from Sarsa in Anand district.

Tusharsinh dismissed the allegations. "There is no land dispute. We have land here for hundreds of years without a problem. I had no problems in NCP also, but I did not want to contest again. I have already done my five years of work and now someone else should get a chance," he said.

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