An influential local religious figure who unsuccessfully contested the last Lok Sabha polls has announced his unconditional support to Congress-NCP alliance in the October 13 Assembly elections.
Mahamandleshwar Shantigiri Maharaj of Sant Janardan Swami Ashram had contested the election from Aurangabad Lok Sabha constituency as an Independent. The seat was won by Shiv Sena's Chandrakant Khaire.
Talking to newspersons in Nashik on Wednesday, Shantigiri said he was disappointed by baseless allegations levelled against him by Khaire, and even Sena Executive President Uddhav Thackeray did not tender an apology for the remarks by his party leader.
"My lakhs of devotees are disappointed over Shiv Sena's allegations, and hence they have decided to support Congress-NCP alliance in the upcoming Assembly elections."
Khaire had recently alleged that Shantigiri has links with a big industrial house and held shares worth Rs 50 crore of that corporate entity. The Sena MP was also critical of Shantigiri's entry into politics.
Uddhav had recently met the religious leader.
A few days ago, Maharashtra unit chiefs of both Congress and NCP had met Shantigiri to seek his blessings for the Assembly polls.