6 of 7 MNS cor­po­ra­tors ditch Raj, join Shiv Sena

The Times of India (New Delhi edition) - - TIMES NATION -

Mum­bai: Six out of seven cor­po­ra­tors of the Raj Thack­eray-led Ma­ha­rash­tra Navnir­man Sena (MNS) joined Shiv Sena on Fri­day, giv­ing the lat­ter, which helms the Bri­han­mum­bai Mu­nic­i­pal Cor­po­ra­tion, an edge over BJP.

Of late, re­la­tions be­tween Shiv Sena and BJP, which are in al­liance at the Cen­tre and in Ma­ha­rash­tra, have been strained.

Shiv Sena’s strength in the BMC, the coun­try’s rich­est mu­nic­i­pal body, will now in­crease to 90, with eight more cor­po­ra­tors than BJP has, a se­nior Sena mem­ber said.

MNS cor­po­ra­tors Dilip Lande, Ar­chana Bhalerao, Sne­hal More, Datta Nar­vankar, Parashu­ram Kadam and Ash­wini Matekar joined Sena in pres­ence of chief Ud­dhav Thack­eray. Ad­dress­ing the me­dia af­ter in­duct­ing the cor­po­ra­tors, Ud­dhav, in an ap­par­ent ref­er­ence to the fact that MNS is an off­shoot of Shiv Sena, said no­body should ac­cuse Sena of “poach­ing” as this was a “home­com­ing”.

“Poach­ing took place in Arunachal and Goa. To­day, it was only ‘ghar wapsi’,” he said, adding that there was no ul­te­rior mo­tive be­hind the move, “They (BJP) must have re­alised our strength now, af­ter see­ing what we can do in a day.”

One of the six cor­po­ra­tors, Lande, said the main rea­son be­hind join­ing Sena was “BJP’s plan to oust the Marathi mayor from his post”.

MNS spokesper­son Av­inash Ab­hyankar said if these cor­po­ra­tors had de­fected, “ap­pro­pri­ate ac­tion will be ini­ti­ated against them”.

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