The Opposition has hit out at the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) for the ‘indiscriminate poaching’ of its leaders even as Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) MP Udayanraje Bhosale formally joined the saffron alliance on Saturday. The NCP — which has been at the receiving end of the exodus — said the saffron alliance is turning out to be a ‘B’ team of their party with as many six senior leaders switching sides in the run up to the Assembly elections. Criticising Mr. Bhosale, a direct descendant of Maratha king Chhatrapati Shivaji, senior NCP leaders said they have conveyed their feelings to party leader Sharad Pawar, who went out of his way to accommodate Mr. Bhosale while antagonising many in the leadership. “Pawar saheb had loved him (Mr. Bhosale) like his own son and even kept aside his political value system just to accommodate Udayanraje. It does not matter who comes and who goes but it is hurtful to see somebody who we loved like our own has done this to us,” said senior NCP leader and former minster Jitendra Awhad.The exit of the MP from Satara —- a strong and prosperous sugar belt of the State — is seen as a big set back for the NCP, which tried hard until the last minute to dissuade Mr. Bhosale from switching sides. It is also being considered as one of the wisest choices made by the BJP, which has made some questionable political recruitment of those facing corruption charges, say political analysts.“This is a major victory for us since not only does he (Mr. Bhosale) belong to the NCP bastion and stronghold but was personally groomed by Mr. Pawar. He was one of the few who came out unscathed during the Modi wave of 2019,” said a senior BJP leader adding the party is now close to making a dent in the Pawar stronghold with the entry of Mr. Bhosale and Harshavardhan Patil from the Congress.Mr. Awhad, a former minister of Medical Education and Horticulture in the State cabinet, said the BJP/Shiv Sena with the entry of leaders such as Mr. Bhosale, Bhaskar Jadhav, Ganesh Naik, Sachin Ahir is more and more looking like NCP’s alter ego. It will be hard for people to tell the difference between the BJP/Sena and NCP if more leaders continue to join, he said. “In the end, the BJP will look more like the NCP by the time elections are near. They are just poaching our leaders using fear and intimidation as a tactic,” said NCP’s Mumbai unit chief Nawab Mailk.