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Jolt to NCP in Konkan, Kesarkar quits party to join Shiv Sena

NCP MLA from Sawantwadi, Deepak Kesarkar, whose diatribe against state minister and Congress strongman Narayan Rane had caused a huge embarrassment to top party leadership in the run-up to Lok Sabha polls on Sunday announced his decision to cross over to Shiv Sena ahead of upcoming Assembly elections.

Kesarkar said he was ready to contest from any part of Sindhudurg district if Shiv Sena asks him to.

The MLA said he cannot put up with Rane and is quitting the NCP in protest against his party and the Congress deciding to face polls together in alliance.

“The NCP has to find another candidate from this constituency for the upcoming Assembly elections. I will be tendering my resignation as the party MLA in the next 8 days,” said Kesarkar.

The Sawantwadi MLA said he disapproved of a renewed alliance between Congress and NCP.

Kesarkar, who had earlier accused Industries Minister Narayan Rane of promoting “goondaism and one-upmanship” as far as running the political affairs in the coastal district was concerned, said his fight against Rane will continue.

“Since the Congress and the NCP have decided to go in for the Assembly elections together, I have decided to quit the NCP. It will be difficult for me to work with Rane. My fight against Rane will continue though I have no personal enmity against him,” he said.

Kesarkar’s open defiance of top NCP leadership over supporting the candidature of Rane’s son Nilesh ahead of Lok Sabha elections is seen as one of the major factors behind the latter’s defeat in polls in the pocket-borough. The MLA had said that he would rather resign than supporting Nilesh.

“I want to develop the Konkan region and ensure that people there are independent. We have created an atmosphere where people are no longer scared of Narayan Rane,” Kesarkar said.

Kesarkar said he will be formally joining Sena in the first week of August when Shiv Sena president Uddhav Thackeray tours Sawantwadi region for the Assembly election.

“I will be formally joining Shiv Sena in the first week of August and will be working for the polls with the support of (Shiv Sena president) Uddhav Thackeray. “I met Uddhav at his residence yesterday and conveyed my intentions of joining the party. Uddhav Thackeray will be on a political tour for the Vidhan Sabha elections in the first week of August in Sawantwadi region. It is there that I will be formally joining Shiv Sena,” he said.

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