NCP rebel Prasad Lad to be inducted in BJP on April 3

Former NCP rebel Prasad Lad will be inducted into the saffron party today

Politician Prasad Lad, who shook the city’s political scene when he gave a Congress nominee a run for his money in the Legislative Council polls three months ago — following a tacit understanding with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) — has decided to make his association with the saffron party official.

The former Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) leader will join the ruling party at its state executive in Nashik on Sunday. Sources said Lad’s induction would also pave way for at least 10 BMC corporators and some directors of the cash-rich Mumbai District Central Co-operative Bank.

Speaking to mid-day, Lad confirmed that he would be joining the BJP on Sunday. “I will be inducted into the BJP tomorrow. I don’t want to say much about this. I will talk about it after I become an official member of the party,” said the leader who had contested the 2014 Assembly polls as an NCP candidate from Sion-Koliwada. He was also chairman of MHADA’s Mumbai Repair and Reconstruction Board in the erstwhile government.

When Lad, then in the NCP, rebelled to challenge Congress’ Bhai Jagtap in a civic segment of the state Legislative Council late last year, the BJP pulled out its candidate Manoj Kotak from the race, in order to offer extra firepower to Lad.

The Congress was upset because it had a poll-alliance with the NCP. As a face-saving exercise, Lad quit the NCP. The politician fell two votes short of beating Jagtap, else he would have caused a big upset. It was this election, however, that brought him closer to the BJP.