Pravin Darekar, a senior Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) leader and close aide to party chief Raj Thackeray, is likely to switch allegiances and join the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), sources have claimed.
They added that Darekar’s brother, Pravin Darekar — a corporator elected on an MNS ticket — and a few others like Deepak Pawar, who contested from Malad, are all in talks with the BJP of joining the saffron party.
This comes just three days after Darekar quit his post as the party general secretary in protest of the statements made by another party leader, Bala Nangaonkar, who said that the party failed as the legislators failed to perform. Darekar hinted the failure was more because of Raj Thackeray’s style of functioning.
The MNS top brass, however, has not stopped trying to engage with Darekar.
“Thackeray met Darekar and heard him out. The top brass is trying to placate him by attending to his complaints,” a party leader said.
However, many within the party believe that Darekar’s reasons for joining the BJP may not be entirely political.
Darekar is the chairman of the Mumbai District Central co-operative bank, which is currently under investigation for allegedly having lent credit worth crores to dubious credit societies.
“The fact that Darekar is now cozying up to the party which is ruling at the Centre and now, the state, is obviously no coincidence if you keep in mind the pending investigation,” said an MNS leader.
Darekar, however, was unavailable for comment.