Mumbai NCP chief Sachin Ahir joins Shiv Sena
The move by Ahir to join Sena comes ahead of the Maharashtra assembly elections, which are likely to take place in October
National Congress Party (NCP) suffered a jolt when its Mumbai unit chief and former Maharashtra minister Sachin Ahir left the party to join the Shiv Sena here on Thursday. The move which comes at a time when Maharashtra is gearing up for the upcoming assembly election that may take place in October.
Ahir was welcomed into the Sena by party president Uddhav Thackeray and Yuva Sena chief Aaditya Thackeray.
Ahir was the former MLA from Worli, which has a sizeable population of local Maharashtrians mainly belonging to the lower middle class. In the 2014 assembly election, he lost the Worli seat to Shiv Sena's Sunil Shinde. Sachin Ahir is the nephew of gangster-turned-politician Arun Gawli.
Ahir was a minister in the previous Congress-NCP coalition government in the state, he has been part of the Sharad Pawar-led NCP party since its formation in 1999. He represented Shivdi Assembly seat in Mumbai from 1999 to 2009 and was later elected from Worli, after delimitation of constituencies.
Ahir told PTI he had no grudge against the NCP.
"But some unavoidable political decisions had to be taken considering the prevailing situation," he said.
Ahir said he met Aaditya Thackeray at a social event a few days ago, where the latter told him that the Shiv Sena needed leaders like him, who were "well-versed in urban politics".
"The Shiv Sena is in power in most of the municipal corporations in the state. I can use my expertise gained as a minister for the development of cities. Hence, I took the decision to work for the development of cities by being in power," he said.
Ahir said a decision on whether he will contest the forthcoming state Assembly poll from Worli will be taken soon.
(with PTI inputs)
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