Rahul Narvekar, former spokesperson for both Shiv Sena and Yuva Sena, jumped ship and joined the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP). Narvekar was a trusted lieutenant of both Uddhav and Aaditya Thackeray. He will now contest the Lok Sabha elections from Maval constituency. Narvekar is the son-in-law of senior NCP leader Ramraje Naik Nimbalkar.

Rahul Narvekar's exit is said to have upset Shiv Sena youth wing president Aaditya Thackeray, as the former was  said to be close to him
Rahul Narvekar's exit is said to have upset Shiv Sena youth wing president Aaditya Thackeray, as the former was  said to be close to him

“It has upset everyone in the party that he quit just because he didn’t get a seat for the council elections. He forgot the love and respect he got in the party. Aadityasaheb treated him as an elder brother and he’s the most upset with this move,” said a close aide of Narvekar, who is still with the Sena.

Upset over council polls
Narvekar was the tenth candidate for the nine seats of the Maharashtra Legislative Council elections, the Sena’s second candidate along with Neelam Gorhe, in spite of the party knowing that their strength was sufficient to get only one candidate elected. Ever since Narvekar pulled out at the last moment from the elections last week, there were speculations of his quitting the Sena.

Speaking at the NCP headquarters in Nariman Point, he said, “I was the official candidate of the party, but had to fetch votes as an independent. The allegation that the top leaders were kept in the dark when I withdrew my candidature is wrong. I did whatever the party asked me to do (that is, withdraw his name).”

Narvekar will now contest the Maval Lok Sabha seat (see box), where the incumbent is Gajanan Dharamshi Babar, who himself quit the party last week after being denied a ticket. The Sena candidate there now is Shrirang Barne.

“He (Narvekar) got upset that he was asked to leave the seat, not Neelam Gorhe, even though he was close to both the Thackerays. But now, we won’t let him win at any cost,” said another Sena leader. Meanwhile, sources say that Rahul’s brother Makrand, an independent corporator from Colaba, will not be nominated as chairman of any committee in the Sena-ruled BMC. He is currently the chairman of the law committee.