Mumbai: Shiv Sena spokesman Rahul Narvekar, who recently withdrew his candidature from the Maharashtra Legislative Council elections, today joined the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) and will contest the Lok Sabha election on the party's ticket from the Maval constituency.
Mr Narvekar joined NCP in the presence of senior leader and Maharashtra's deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar.
"When people from your own party try to bring you down, you're left with no choice," Mr Narvekar said.
Mr Narvekar, son-in-law of senior NCP leader Ramraje Naik Nimbalkar, was the spokesman of Youth Wing of Shiv Sena, which is headed by party president Uddhav Thackeray's son Aditya.
The Sena leader was apparently sulking over the withdrawal of his nomination and had recently met NCP chief Sharad Pawar.
His withdrawal from the fray had paved the way for nine candidates getting elected to the Legislative Council unopposed.
Mr Narvekar had said he sit out of the Council elections on the direction of the Sena leadership.
Gajanan Babar, the sitting MP from Maval, recently quit Shiv Sena after being denied the ticket.
Asked about the impact Mr Narvekar's exit would have on Shiv Sena, party MP Bharatkumar Raut said, "As a political analyst I feel that this is definitely a big blow because Rahul was a close confidant of the Thackeray family."
However, another Shiv Sena leader Neelam Gorhe said Mr Narvekar's leaving the party and joining NCP won't make any difference. "It won't have any impact on us," she said.
Meanwhile, shortly before Mr Narvekar formally joined the NCP, a group of Shiv Sena workers staged a protest outside the state NCP office in south Mumbai. They raised anti-Narvekar slogans.
The police, however, prevented the Sena workers from entering the NCP office premises.