NCP’s Maharashtra unit chief Bhaskar Jadhav, a former Shiv Sena leader, told media persons that the six SS MPs – whom he did not identify – also wanted the NCP to break its alliance with the Congress.
“Their Lok Sabha constituencies fell in the Congress quota. They wanted us to fight elections separately so that they could be fielded on NCP ticket. But we have decided to continue our alliance with Congress,” Jadhav said.
Earlier, the Shiv Sena patriarch Bal Thackeray’s estranged son Jaidev Thackeray also wanted to join the NCP, but party chief Sharad Pawar decided against the move as it could hurt the late Thackeray in his advanced age, Jadhav added.
Accusing Shiv Sena president Uddhav Thackeray of losing grip on the party, Jadhav said that he is “incapable of providing aggressive leadership” which the Shiv Sainiks are accustomed to.
He also charged Thackeray with “uncivilized behavior” in targeting a senior leader like Pawar.
At a rally in Shirur in Pune district Sunday, Thackeray had said that Pawar would lose his deposit if he contested from Shirur Lok Sabha seat.
Taking umbrage at the remarks, Jadhav noted that Pawar has already announced he is out of electoral politics and will enter parliament through Rajya Sabha, for which he will file his nomination Jan 24.
On its part, the NCP challenged Thackeray to contest against Pawar’s daughter Supriya Sule from Baramati, the Pawar family bastion.
If not, Jadhav dared him should contest the assembly elections against him from Chiplun in Ratnagiri, or against NCP working president Jitendraw Awhad, who represents Mumbra in Thane.
Jadhav also raised the humiliation of senior Sena leader Manohar Joshi, a former chief minister and Lok Sabha speaker, at the Dassehra Rally last year, and recent complaints of ill-treatment by former Mumbai mayor Shubha Raul and her party colleague and corporator Sheetal Mhatre.