MUMBAI: In another setback for the NCP, its heavyweight leader from Konkan region and former Maharashtra minister Bhaskar Jadhav on Monday announced his decision to join the Shiv Sena.
Jadhav, who started his political career with the Sena but later switched over to the Sharad Pawar-led party, held a meeting on Monday with his supporters at his hometown Guhagar in Ratnagiri district where he made the announcement.
Several senior leaders from the opposition NCP and Congress have recently joined the ruling BJP and Shiv Sena in the state, where the Assembly polls are due next month.
Jadhav told reporters in Ratnagiri that after discussing the future course of action with his supporters, he has decided to join the Shiv Sena on September 13.
"I had a meeting with Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray a couple of weeks back and he made an offer to me to join the party," he said.
Asked if he would contest from Guhagar Assembly seat again in the upcoming state polls, Jadhav said he is keen on it, but the decision would be taken by the Sena leadership.
"I am interested in contesting the seat, if asked. I think I will wait for the official announcement of the Sena list, but I am joining the Shiv Sena for sure," he said.
Jadhav joined the NCP in mid-2000. He later became a minister in the Congress-NCP coalition government in Maharashtra.
Last month, NCP MLA Avadhut Tatkare, the nephew of party MP Sunil Tatkare, also announced his decision to join the Sena.
He will be inducted into the Sena on Monday evening at Thackeray's residence 'Matoshree' in suburban Bandra.