Ex-NCP minister Jaidutta Kshirsagar quits party, set to join Shiv Sena
He was upset that Dhananjay Munde carried more weight in the party's Beed affairs, a source said
Mumbai: Former Maharashtra minister and disgruntled NCP MLA Jaidutta Kshirsagar on Wednesday said he has quit the Sharad Pawar-led party and would join the Shiv Sena.
Kshirsagar, said to be engaged in a turf war with senior NCP leader Dhananjay Munde who also hails from Beed, told PTI that he had resigned as a legislator too.
During the Lok Sabha election, he had backed the BJP's Beed candidate Pritam Munde, Dhananjay Munde's estranged cousin.
Kshirsagar said he would join the Shiv Sena in the presence of its chief Uddhav Thackeray later in the day at the Sena's headquarters here.
The NCP made light of the development, saying it was in the offing for long, and would not affect the party in Beed.
"I felt suffocated within the NCP. Hence I have decided to quit as MLA and resign the party's primary membership," Kshirsagar said.
"I think I will be able to work freely in the Shiv Sena and that's why I am joining that party," he added.
He was joining the Sena without any pre-conditions, he added.
The NCP's chief spokesperson Nawab Malik said Kshirsagar had mentally left the party long ago and continued to remain a member formally only to save his position as MLA.
"Kshirsagar quitting the NCP will not have any bearing on the party's prospects. He is a leader who will not be able to retain even his own seat," Malik said.
According to NCP insiders, Kshirsagar felt sidelined within the party.
He was upset that Dhananjay Munde carried more weight in the party's Beed affairs, a source said.
"He also felt his nephew Sandip was being encouraged by the NCP leadership at his cost," a party leader said.
Reacting to the development, Dhananjay Munde recalled that Kshirsagar had campaigned for the BJP-Sena during the Lok Sabha election against the NCP's candidate from Beed, Bajrang Sonawane, and also met Uddhav Thackeray around the same time.
Kshirsagar sought to join the Sena a day before the Lok Sabha poll results are declared as the NCP is set to get a big lead from Beed Assembly segment, Munde claimed.
"No party would have accepted him after the result was out. Therefore the hurry to join the Sena on Wednesday," Munde said.