The Nashik and Parbhani episodes come as a major embarrassment for Thackeray and MP Sanjay Raut, who is on a two-day tour of Nashik
In a fresh jolt to the former Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray-led Shiv Sena faction ahead of the State civic polls, several party bearers and corporators from this faction in Nashik defected to the Chief Minister Eknath Shinde-led Balasahebanchi Shiv Sena on Friday.
Later in the day, 30 corporators from the Uddhav camp as well as other parties, including the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP), joined Mr. Shinde’s Sena in presence of the Chief Minister himself in Parbhani.
The Nashik and Parbhani episodes come as a major embarrassment for Mr. Thackeray and his party loyalist, MP Sanjay Raut, who is on a two-day tour of Nashik.
Mr. Thackeray, too, is slated to visit Nashik by the end of this month or the beginning of February.
The office bearers from the Sena (Uddhav Balasaheb Thackeray or UBT) in Nashik had joined Mr. Shinde’s faction in Mumbai and were welcomed by the CM before he left for Parbhani.
“Many people are coming and joining our party by following the ideals of [late Shiv Sena chief] Balasaheb Thackeray. This, in a way, is the best vindication of the work being done by the new government [formed in alliance with the BJP],” Mr. Shinde said, adding that a true government of the people had been established after he took the decision to exit the erstwhile ‘Maha Vikas Aghadi’ (MVA) government led by Mr. Thackeray.
Taking a jibe at the Thackeray camp, the CM said that the MVA had claimed they would “explode a bomb” ahead of the recently concluded winter session of the State Legislature and “expose” the Shinde-Fadnavis government, but that the opposition “had dug up a mountain and not even a rat came out of it”.