Mumbai/Amravati: Two Independent MLAs, one of them backed by the Congress-NCP combine in the just-concluded assembly polls, have declared support to the BJP in Maharashtra, where the NDA lead party and its ally Shiv Sena are locked in a tussle on sharing power in the new government.
Ravi Rana, the Independent MLA from Badnera in Amravati district, on Sunday offered "unconditional" support to the BJP, which emerged as the single largest party in the October 21 elections.
Incidentally, Rana won from the seat in the Vidarbha region for a third consecutive term with backing from the opposition Congress-NCP alliance.
His wife Navneet Rana is the Independent Lok Sabha MP from Amravati, and had won the general polls as an NCP-backed candidate, beating senior Shiv Sena leader Anandrao Adsul in May.
"Yes, I have extended support to the BJP. Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis is from Vidarbha and I, too, belong to the same region.
"He has done several developmental works and also approved a medical college for my constituency," Ravi Rana said.
Giving more reasons for supporting the BJP, Rana said the Fadnavis government had been facilitating development of the Belora airport (in Amravati) and given land approval to set up a pharmaceutical plant in Nandgaon Peth MIDC in the district.
"I have decided to support him (Fadnavis) as I want to be in the government and get work done for people. It is no use sitting in the opposition," the MLA said.
He allayed fears of an adverse reaction from the NCP, which had given him the Badnera seat from its quota.
"There will be no dispute (with NCP). Had they (Congress-NCP) been able to form the government in the state, I would have stayed with them," he told PTI.
Meanwhile, Amravati city Congress president Kishor Borkar opposed Rana's move and said he should respect the people's mandate in his constituency which was in favour of the Congress-NCP.
In another development, Independent MLA Kishor Jorgewar from Chandrapur, also in Vidarbha, on Monday announced his support to the BJP.
Jorgewar, a Congress rebel who fought as an Independent after being denied a ticket by his party, extended his support to the BJP after meeting Fadnavis at his residence in Mumbai.
He defeated the BJP's Nana Shyamkule by a margin of 72,000 votes in the Assembly polls, results of which were declared on October 24.
The BJP and the Shiv Sena, with 105 and 56 seats respectively in the 288-member House, are busy wooing the 13 Independent MLAs in the state to give themselves an upper hand during discussions for formation of the next government.
The Sena has demanded a written assurance from the BJP for implementing "equal formula for sharing of power", which could possibly include equal division of the chief ministerial tenure.