Hitendra Thakur dines with Shiv Sena, but will support NCP
While rumour had that last week’s meeting between Bahujan Vikas Aghadi (BVA) president Hitendra Thakur and top Shiv Sena leaders had got Sena Thakur’s support for the Maharashtra Legislative Council (MLC) polls, the BVA chief yesterday told mid-day he would back the NCP.
(From left) Ravindra Phatak, Milind Narvekar, Hitendra Thakur and Sanjay Raut at Thakur’s residence last week
From Thane local body constituency, while Shiv Sena has fielded Ravindra Phatak, Vasant Davkhare is NCP’s candidate. Thakur, when asked about his decision by mid-day, said, “Vasant Davkhare is an old friend of mine and hence I have decided to support him.”
Thakur, who entertained Sena leaders— minister Eknath Shinde, Uddhav Thackeray’s PA Milind Narvekar, Member of Parliament Sanjay Raut and others — last week at his Virar residence and even made them expect his sizeable votes, added, “I have friends across all the parties and so everyone is welcome to my place. They came to meet me, we had food together but when it comes to supporting someone I decided to support Davkhare in the elections.”
While mid-day’s calls to Ravindra Phatak went unanswered, Sanjay Raut, Shiv Sena MP, who had gone to meet Thakur was first surprised to know that Thakur had decided against them.
He later said, “In the elections, we meet everyone. We even meet communists and other parties, but let me tell you we are winning with clear majority.”
While Thakur is considered close to NCP chief Sharad Pawar, the pictures of the meeting circulated by Sena supporters made the rumour mills churn that Thakur had extended his support towards Phatak.
“It’s a known fact that Thakur is close to Pawar and hence it was a tough thing to get him to support us. However, we tried our luck, because we wanted a clear majority, which we still have,” said a senior Sena leader.