BJP vice-president Bhaskarrao Patil Khatgaonkar resigned from the party on Sunday to join the Congress.
The former Nanded MP told the media, “I am resigning from the primary membership of the BJP. I have taken the decision to join the Congress.”
Khatgaonkar, the brother-in-law of state minister Ashok Chavan, had been in the Congress earlier. He had joined the BJP ahead of 2014 Lok Sabha polls.
Khatgaonkar’s latest move is being seen as a setback for the BJP ahead of the Deglur Assembly bypoll in Nanded district on October 30. The BJP had been gearing up for a straight fight with the Congress in the seat.
The bypoll was necessitated by the death of sitting Congress MLA Raosaheb Antapurkar. The Congress has now fielded his son Jitesh Antapurkar for the bypoll whereas the BJP has nominated Subash Sabane. Sabane is a former Shiv Sena MLA who joined the BJP earlier this month.
Khatgaonkar has represented Nanded thrice as Congress MP. He was also elected to the Assembly thrice. He has served as minister for cooperation, rural development and home.