In a blow to the Shiv Sena, its MP from Parbhani, Ganesh Dudhgaonkar, joined the NCP Saturday, just a few days after its another sitting MP Bhausaheb Wakchaure, who represents Shirdi Lok Sabha seat, joined the Congress.
The desertions come at a time when it appeared that the Sena was consolidating its hold on the organisation under the leadership of Uddhav Thackeray.
Dudhgaonkar’s decision came after a meeting with NCP leader and Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar. NCP president Sharad Pawar, who was in Mumbai to discuss party issues, reportedly gave his consent to Dudhgaonkar joining the organisation.
The NCP has, however, made it clear they would not be able to accommodate him for Lok Sabha elections in 2014, but would field him for the Assembly elections scheduled in September-October this year. The party has said its official candidate for Parbhani Lok Sabha seat would be Vijay Bhamble.
“This is the beginning of Opposition members switching sides. There are some more in touch with me. I will reveal their names at an appropriate time,” Ajit Pawar said.
While Thackeray refused to comment on the development, Sena sources said there were a few “black sheep” whose desertions were expected.
Earlier this week, Wakchaure had left the Sena to join Congress, which plans to field him for the Shirdi Lok Sabha seat.