Shiv Sena MP Gajanan Babar, denied a ticket from Maval, will join Raj Thackeray’s MNS. Babar has accused the party of having been bribed to give the ticket to Shrirang Barne, inducted from the Congress.
Babar, who had unofficially formed a “Babar Sena” in the party, will join the MNS at a rally to be addressed by Raj Thackeray in Pune Monday. “I have made up my mind to join the MNS. I have been in touch with the MNS for long,” he said Sunday. Last week, 45 Sena office-bearers had quit in Maval. Sena spokesperson Neelam Gorhe said, “Babar joining a party like MNS was expected.”
Babar will follow a number of MPs who have quit the Shiv Sena in a month or so. Bhausaheb Waghchoure and Ganesh Dudhgaonkar have joined the Congress and Anand Paranjaype the NCP, as has four-time MP Mohan Rawle the NCP.
Sena spokesperson Rahul Narvekar, who withdrew from the legislative council elections, joined the NCP Monday and is now the candidate from Maval.
Babar attacked Uddhav Thackeray’s leadership. “Under Uddhav’s leadership, there is no room for committed leaders like me. I have served the party 44 years and they did not even have the courtesy to inform me I would not be given the ticket… It is clear that money has changed hands. I do not give money, I do not take money. This probably went against me.”
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Babar has extended support to Laxman Jagtap, who has the support of the MNS and Peasants and Workers Party.