MUMBAI: In a jolt to the BJP ahead of the bypoll to the Palghar Lok Sabha seat, the two sons of its late tribal MP from the constituency Chintaman Wanga today bid farewell to their party and joined the Shiv Sena.
The two sons of the late MP - Srinivas and Praful Wanga - along with their mother Jayashree joined the Sena in the presence of party president Uddhav Thackeray.
They earlier called on the Sena president at his 'Matoshri' residence in suburban Bandra.
Speaking to reporters, the two sons accused Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis and state BJP president Raosaheb Danve of neglecting the family after the death of their father and refusing audience despite their repeated requests.
Prior to meeting Thackeray, the two sons and their mother said Chintaman Wanga spent 35 years of his life in expanding the BJP's support base in the Palghar (ST) Lok Sabha constituency located adjoining Mumbai.
Accusing the BJP leadership of neglecting the family, they said, "We have been left to fend for ourselves after our father passed away in New Delhi on January 30."
Chintaman Wanga (67) was elected from Palghar on a BJP ticket in the 2014 Lok Sabha polls.
Announcing their decision to quit the BJP, Srinivas and Praful Wanga said their family has had close family ties with Sena founder late Bal Thackeray and Uddhav Thackeray.
"Our late father worked for the BJP in days when the party could barely get two votes in an election. We have not quit the BJP under pressure from any quarter," they added.
Meanwhile, sources said the BJP leadership was contemplating fielding its Maharashtra Minister for Tribal Welfare Vishnu Savara for the May 28 bypoll to Palghar and this development may have led the Wangas to quit the party.
The Wanga family was hopeful that one of the two sons will get the BJP ticket for the Lok Sabha byelection, they added.
Savara was elected to the Assembly in 2014 from Vikramgadh seat in Palghar district.