During the Lok Sabha elections, the Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) had denounced the Shiv Sena for fielding Vijay Chowgule, who had several criminal complaints against him.
But times have changed.
On Saturday, MNS chief Raj Thackeray welcomed tainted Thane corporator Sudhakar Chavan, an Independent, into the party.
Chavan was one of the first politicians in the state to be arrested under the Terrorist and Disruptive Activities (Prevention) Act during the government crackdown on politicians with criminal links.
In October 1992, the Naupada police had arrested Chavan and 26 others under the TADA Act for allegedly assaulting Thane businessman Arun Mudliar and threatening him at gunpoint. In 1998, they were all acquitted for lack of evidence.
Thackeray also declared Chavan’s candidature from Ovla-Majiwada constituency in Thane, where Sena is likely to put up its newest entrant Pratap Sarnaik, who defected from the Nationalist Congress Party.
“He will be our candidate from that constituency,” said Thackeray.
The four-time corporator has also been the chairman of the Thane Municipal Corporation standing committee. As an Independent, he has been supporting the Sena-ruled Thane civic body.
The MNS has been suffering setbacks with most of their seniors leaders returning to the Sena such as Sweta Parulekar, Deepak Surve and Sanjay Ghadi.
Most citied the same reason for quitting — Thackeray is being misguided by the coterie surrounding him.