AS IT SCRAMBLED for MLAs who may go with Ajit Pawar, among its legislators whom the NCP corralled was Sanjay Bansod, who was picked up from a hotel near the Andheri airport after a tip-off from Shiv Sena legislative party leader Eknath Shinde and Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray’s PA Milind Narvekar.
The NCP’s trust in the Sena being able to help it out due to its strong presence in unions related to the aviation sector around Mumbai airport paid off.
The Sena men accosted Bansod, who had not been in contact with his party, and brought him to The Lalit hotel in Mumbai, where the Sena MLAs have been kept.
A call was then made to the NCP bosses, who sent party leader Shashikant Shinde to bring Bansod back, Sena sources said. “To ensure his safety, Shinde and Narvekar accompanied the two,” a Sena leader who was involved in the move said.
Bansod, later moved to a hotel in South Mumbai along with other NCP MLAs, was asked to make a video announcing his loyalty to the NCP. He faithfully declared, “I am with Pawar Sahab. When I came to know what had happened, I took the first flight and came to Mumbai.”
A first-time MLA from Udgir in Latur district, Bansode was elected from a reserved constituency.