NCP strongman Ganesh Naik, 50 corporators join BJP, but Shiv Sena has a word of caution for its ally

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Published: September 12, 2019 9:56:27 AM

Ganesh Naik was the NCP strongman from Navi Mumbai. He was in the Shiv Sena but he quit the party in 1999 after differences with Bal Thackeray. He joined the NCP in 1999 - the year Sharad Pawar floated the party.

Ganesh NaikNCP strongman Ganesh Naik joins BJP ahead of Maharashtra Assembly elections.

NCP’s Navi Mumbai strongman Ganesh Naik, his son Sanjeev and around 50 party corporators joined the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in the presence of Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis and the party’s state unit chief Chandrakant Patil on Wednesday ahead of the assembly polls. Former minister and Congress leader Harshavardhan Patil too joined BJP on Wednesday.

Naik’s entry into the BJP along with 50-odd corporators of the Navi Municipal Corporation (NMMC) now paves the way for the ruling party to control the civic body.

The latest setback for Sharad Pawar’s party came at a time when its top leadership is in talks with the Congress to finalise the seat-sharing deal for the Assembly elections due to be held in October-November.

Naik and others joined the BJP at Vashi in adjoining Navi Mumbai. Speaking on the occasion, Naik praised Prime Minister Narendra Modi for his leadership. He said that PM Modi has increased the country’s reputation in the world.

He said that it was his grudge he couldn’t do justice to the people who loved him during the 15 years of his stint as a minister in the NCP-Congress government (1999-2014). He also urged Fadnavis to resolve issues pertaining to
Navi Mumbai.

Praising Fadnavis for his vision, who is the BJP’s first CM of the state, “I don’t berate the CMs of the past. But I am confident about the (good) work Devendra ji has done and will do in future.”

Meanwhile, the Shiv Sena has reacted to the continued exodus to the BJP. Party’s Rajya Sabha MP Sanjay Raut said that leaders shouldn’t join the BJP-Sena alliance only to become MPs or MLAs and suggested them to first endorse the Hindutva ideology. “The leaders who are planning to join us should come up with the full acceptance of the ideology of Hindutva. This is because our doors are not open for people who only want to become an MP, MLA or Minister,” he said.

Naik was in the Shiv Sena but he quit the party in 1999 after differences with Bal Thackeray. He joined the NCP in 1999 – the year Sharad Pawar floated the party. He contested the 2014 Assembly polls from Belapur but lost to
BJP’s Manda Mhatre.

Naik’s younger son Sandip and two NCP’s two other legislators Shivendrasinh Bhosale and Vaibhav Pichad had joined the BJP on July 31. Former Kolhapur MP Dhananjay Mahadik also switched loyalty to the ruling party recently. Earlier, the NCP had lost its Mumbai unit chief Sachin Ahir and MLAs Jaydutta Kshirsagar and Pandurang Barora to the Shiv Sena.

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