MUMBAI: Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) leader Shishir Shinde today joined Shiv Sena and was welcomed back into the party by Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray.
Shinde, who started his political career with the Sena, met Thackeray at a wedding last month, which prompted speculations about him switching loyalties.
Shinde did not hold any post in MNS since over a year and his name didn't figure in the list of party functionaries announced by the Raj Thackeray-led party yesterday.
The 64-year-old politician shot to fame in 1991 after he and a group of Shiv Sena workers allegedly vandalised Wankhede stadium to disrupt a cricket match between India and Pakistan.
In 1992, Shinde was elected as a corporator from suburban Mulund on Sena ticket and was made deputy leader in the Sena-controlled BMC.
A few years later, he also led the Sena agitation against shortage of edible oil, where Sena workers ransacked warehouses of some private traders and made edible oil available at reasonable rates.
In 1996, he was made a member of the Legislative Council by the Sena. However, when Raj Thackeray left Sena to form his own party, Shinde left with him and was among the founding members of MNS.
In 2009, along with 12 other MNS members, Shinde was elected to the state Assembly but was suspended even before taking the oath for obstructing Samajwadi Party leader Abu Asim Azmi from taking oath in Hindi.
In 2014, Shinde lost the Assembly elections.
The other leaders who have left MNS since 2014 include Pravin Darekar and Ram Kadam, who joined BJP.