Defections not new to Maharashtra politics

Recent history shows that defections has not been new to the Maharashtra politics.

Mumbai: Even though there has been a hue
and cry over the recent defections of Shiv Sena MP Anand
Paranjpye and BJP MLC Dhananjay Munde, recent history shows
that this trend has not been new to the state politics and it
is the Shiv Sena, which has seen maximum number of
high-profile desertions.

Chhagan Bhujbal, currently the state PWD minister, was
a heavyweight Shiv Sena leader, when he switched sides to the
Congress in the early 1990s.
With Shiv sainiks baying for his blood for this breach
of trust, Bhujbal was forced to go underground.

Former Chief Minister Narayan Rane, too, was a
powerful Sena leader with a mass-base in Sindhudurg district
of Konkan region, when he defected to the Congress in 2005.
Rane resigned his membership of the house and got re-elected
from his constituency of Malvan.
It was followed by Raj Thackeray, nephew of the Sena
partriach Bal Thackeray, who had left the party to form his
own political outfit.

However, Thane Lok Sabha MP Anand Paranjype`s recent
`brazen` act of defying his party leadership, has shocked the
political circles in the state. He is seen as one, who has no
mass base in his constituency and owes his rise in politics to
the good will of his late father Prakash Paranjype and the
Sena`s stronghold over the region.

Political observers say that the hype Paranjype got
was may be due to the presence of Sharad Pawar in the party
office or the timing as the 10 municipal corporation elections
including the prestigious Mumbai and Thane are scheduled next
month and Paranjype is Sena`s lone MP in Mumbai-Thane belt.

It could also be a result of Shiv Sena lured NCP MLC
Subhash Bhoir and few office-bearers from Thane district
into its fold in the last few days.

The reaction from Shiv Sena to Paranjype`s act was
muted with party executive president Uddhav Thackeray asking
Thane leaders not to make an issue out of this, as it will
increase Paranjype`s stature.

Paranjype is yet to resign from his Lok Sabha
membership, but has started campaigning for the NCP candidates
contesting the Thane municipal elections.

Top Shiv Sena leaders, who were with the party since
its inception, like Ramesh Prabhoo and Satish Pradhan had also
quit after Bal Thackeray handed over reins of the party to his
son Uddhav in 2004.

Bhaskar Jadhav, Sena`s MLA from Chiplun in Ratnagiri
district was among the first to have fallen out with the Sena
in the early 2000s. Navi Mumbai strongman Ganesh Naik was
another Shiv Sena leader to join the NCP. Former union
minister in the NDA regime Balasaheb Vikhe Patil and his son
Radhakrishna Vikhe Patil left the Shiv Sena to re-join the

Another Union Minister in the NDA government from Shiv
Sena Subodh Mohite and its Rajya Sabha MP Sanjay Nirupam, Sena
MLAs Nandkumar Kale from Mumbai, Vinayak Nimhan from Pune were
prominent among those, who deserted the Shiv Sena in recent

NCP, which was formed in 1999, had also witnessed
defection with leaders like Datta Meghe, Shalinitai Patil,
Sadashivrao Mandlik, Javed Khan, Suresh Jain, Kushal Bopche,
Shirish Kotwal, among others.

BJP had seen its MLAs like Suresh Dhas and Prakash
Solanke joining the NCP few years ago and now Gopinath Munde`s
brother Pandit Anna and nephew Dhananjay have also shifted to

Congress has seen its former PCC chief Govindrao Adik
and former Yavatmal MP Uttamrao Patil joining NCP and
yesterday its Hingoli district president Shivaji Mane also
joined the NCP.


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