Mumbai: The ‘leaks’ in the Shiv Sena continued unabated as ex-Thane Mayor Naresh Muske along with 67 former municipal corporators joined Chief Minister Eknath Shinde’s group, here on Thursday.
The move has come as a jolt to the former Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray, ahead of the upcoming civic elections in Thane where the party has ruled for many years.
Muske and others met Shinde — who was also the Guardian Minister of Thane in the erstwhile Maha Vikas Aghadi regime — at his residence and pledged to work together under his leadership for the progress of the city adjoining Mumbai.
Earlier, several leaders from Thane had issued veiled threats that if they are denied tickets for civic polls they would “follow Eknath Shinde’s path”.
The latest development came a week after Shinde was sworn-in as the Chief Minister and Bharatiya Janata Party’s Devendra Fadnavis took oath as Deputy CM after the MVA government collapsed on June 29.
Besides, there are indications that many Sena elected law-makers, party leaders and office-bearers at various levels are likely to shift allegiance to the Shinde Group in the coming weeks.
The Shinde camp has claimed that several Sena MPs are also in touch with them and may join them soon even as the Shiv Sena Chief Whip in Lok Sabha Bhavana Gawali — MP from Yavatmal-Washim constituency was removed on Wednesday and replaced by Thane MP Rajan Vichare.
The Sena is keeping hopes pinned on the Supreme Court verdict of July 11, after which the party would chart its future course of action even as Thackeray has launched interaction and communication with the grassroots workers.