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Monday, Oct 14, 2019

NCP leader Jaydutt Kshirsagar joins Shiv Sena

In a setback to the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP), senior party leader and former minister Jaydutt Kshirsagar joined the Shiv Sena on Wednesday

mumbai Updated: May 23, 2019 01:01 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times
NCP MLA Jaydutta Shirsagkar joins Shiv Sena in the presence of party chief Uddhav Thackeray.
NCP MLA Jaydutta Shirsagkar joins Shiv Sena in the presence of party chief Uddhav Thackeray. (Bhushan Koyande/HT)
         

In a setback to the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP), senior party leader and former minister Jaydutt Kshirsagar joined the Shiv Sena on Wednesday. Kshirsagar’s entry into the Sena will help the party strengthen its hold in Beed.

The switch is expected to dent the NCP in Beed district of Marathwada region, ahead of the state Assembly polls in September-October.

Before joining the Sena in presence of party chief Uddhav Thackeray, the legislator from Beed submitted his resignation to Assembly speaker Haribhau Bagde.

Kshirsagar was unhappy with the NCP leadership for giving more importance to local rival Dhananjay Munde, of the NCP. In the past few months, Kshirsagar had shown signs of switching parties.

Kshirsagar said he was feeling “suffocated” in the NCP for some time now, and staying with the Sharad Pawar-led party was “testing his patience”. Kshirsagar said he built the party [NCP] from “scratch”. “I chose Sena because the party does not look at caste or creed; it respects hard work. There are several reasons to quit the NCP, but I do not want to take names or blame anyone. I will say that the party should have treated a senior with respect,” he said, after formally joining the Sena.

He added that exit poll figures that show a loss for the Congress-NCP in Maharashtra had no bearing for his decision to shift to one of the ruling parties. “I had already made the decision to join Sena when I campaigned for [Chandrakant] Khaire in Aurangabad, where Uddhavji was on stage,” he said. He had also campaigned for other BJP-Sena candidates, including Pritam Munde in Beed.

The former NCP leader was a cabinet minister in the Congress-NCP government between 1999 and 2014.

Party insiders said Kshirsagar could be given a good portfolio from Sena’s quota after the state polls.

Thackeray, after inducting Kshirsagar ,said, “I will give you responsibility befitting your experience. It is true that Beed has been ignored by the party, but now we will work and develop the region,” Thackeray said.

According to Sena functionaries, Kshirsagar has a strong grip over his constituency and it would help Sena build its base in the area. Kshirsagar brings a strong base of OBC voters to the Sena.

First Published: May 23, 2019 01:01 IST

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