Shiv Sena (UBT) unfazed as MP joins Shinde side

by IANS |

Mumbai, Nov 12 (IANS) Five months after the erstwhile Shiv Sena split vertically, hardcore Shiv Sena (UBT) MP Gajanan Kirtikar abruptly switched over to the Balasahebanchi Shiv Sena led by Chief Minister Eknath Shinde.

However, his son Amol G. Kirtikar has decided to remain with the Sena (UBT) instead of following his father to the BSS.

The developments came late on Friday after which the Sena (UBT) promptly expelled the 79-year-old Kirtikar, once a trusted aide of Uddhav Thackeray and the late Balasaheb Thackeray, who became the 13th party MP to join the BSS.

The much-leaking Sena (UBT) has taken the development in its stride with party MP Sanjay Raut saying "Kirtikar's exit will not make an iota of difference to the party".

"He took all benefits from the party, was a five-term MLA, two-time MP, two times minister and entrusted with other senior posts within the Shiv Senaa What prompted him to change sides at his age and senioritya His son Amol is our senior and dedicated activist who tried to dissuade his father, but did not succeed," said Raut.

Welcoming him to the party, Chief Minister Shinde lauded Kirtikar's contributions as a staunch associate of Balasaheb Thackeray and said he has joined BSS unconditionally to work for the state.

Since the revolt led by Shinde in early-June, there was much speculation on Kirtikar's stance, but he stuck to the Sena (UBT) and defected only after almost five months to the BSS.

"Why should we term it as unfortunate. He will need to get re-elected some time, people will decide thena But, tomorrow he will be erased from the public memory," claimednRaut.

Kirtikar is the MP from Mumbai North-West seat since 2014 and was also the President of the powerful Sthaniya Lokadhikar Samiti which fought for employment preference to local Maharashtrian youth.

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