Nilay Naik, nephew of former Maharashtra Chief Minister Vasantrao Naik has joined the ruling BJP.
BJP state unit Chief Raosaheb Danve on Thursday welcomed him into the party at a function.
Naik’s family hails from Pusad in Yavatmal district and has enjoyed a huge public support for the past seven decades with Vasantrao Naik holding the record of the longest serving Chief Minister of Maharashtra.
“I could not get enough support from local leadership (uncle, Manohar Naik) but I want to serve people. I approached the BJP leadership from the state and decided to join the party,” said Nilay.
When asked about his next step, he said, “I am likely to be asked to help for the forthcoming council elections. I will concentrate on it and try to improve the performance”.
After a failed attempt to contest Assembly elections as the NCP rebel against his uncle Manohar in 2009, Nilay tried to mend with the NCP leadership. His inclination towards BJP was first confirmed when he had attended an event of RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat recently.
Vasantrao, who served the state from 1963 to 1975, was an astute leader of Congress from Vidarbha region. However, in subsequent years, Congress lost its charm and despite political success, the Naik family was away from major political portfolios.
Vasantrao’s nephew Sudhakarrao Naik also served as the chief minister from Congress from 1991 to 1993 and had the support of the then Congress leader and Defence Minister Sharad Pawar.
Sudhakarrao’s brother, Manohar remained a confidante of Pawar even after he carved out his own party — the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP).
Sudhakarrao’s another brother, Madhukar remained aloof from politics, but his elder son Nilay joined NCP.
Nilay was the zilla parishad chairman of Yavatmal district from NCP during 1992-97.