Smita Thackeray, the estranged daughter-in-law of Shiv Sena chief Bal Thackeray, is expected to join the Congress soon.
Smita had asked for the Congress membership last year.
Mumbai Congress president Kripashankar Singh told HT that Smita wished to join the Congress. He said she was likely to give him a letter saying that she believed in the Congress ideology and hence would join the party.
Smita has told the media that she believed in the leadership qualities of Congress president Sonia Gandhi and party general secretary Rahul Gandhi.
“Smitaji has said that she will meet me in coming days. After we meet and she gives the letter, I will forward her request to the All India Congress Committee for its approval,” Singh said. But he did not confirm the date on which Smita would join the party.
However, a Congress leader, who is close to Singh, said she would be inducted on Friday. Smita was unreachable for comment.
Smita’s decision to join the Congress comes three years after Bal Thackeray’s nephew Raj broke away from the Shiv Sena following years of differences with his cousin Uddhav, and formed the Maharashra Navnirman Sena.
The Shiv Sena has been saying that Smita’s exit will not erode the party’s strength.
Smita, a film and television producer, was once a power centre in the Sena, but had differences with the Thackeray family after her brother-in-law, Uddhav, took over as the party’s executive president.
Uddhav allegedly sidelined her till she left the family’s residence, where she had continued to stay after her divorce with Bal Thackeray’s second son Jaidev.