Maharashtra NCP president Jayant Patil on Sunday hit out at the BJP for poaching leaders "groomed" by his party and the Congress, likening it to "buying ready-made clothes".
He was speaking on the sidelines of a state-level NCP meeting here which was attended by several senior leaders, amid speculation that some of those absent may be on their way to the ruling BJP or Shiv Sena.
"Leaders groomed by us (NCP-Cong) are now picked up by the BJP ahead of Maharashtra Assembly elections. It is the Congressification of the BJP," Patil said.
He added, "The BJP should give a chance to its party workers, rather than inducting our workers. Has the BJP lost credibility and is thus inducting leaders from out party."
"It is more important to have people who can stitch (groom leaders) than the ones who simply buy ready-made clothes. The leaders have switched their loyalties but what about their followers and party workers," he asked.
Patil said talks for a pre-poll alliance with the Congress were underway.
The discussion between the two main opposition parties was suspended for one week due to severe floods in some parts of the state.
Patil, without mentioning NCP women's wing state president Chitra Wagh, said her switching over to the BJP did not affect the party at all.
Among those who skipped Sunday's meeting was Dileep Sopal, MLA from Barshi in Solapur.
Sopal instead organized a meet for party workers in his constituency, with posters on the stage having no images of NCP leaders.
"My meeting with party workers here in Barshi is more about planning for Assembly polls and has nothing to do with switching over to any other party," he said.