Former NCP MLA Deepak Kesarkar, who represents Sawantwadi seat in Sindhudurg district, today formally joined Shiv Sena in the presence of party president Uddhav Thackeray and slammed the Congress strongman from the region, Narayan Rane for his "political opportunism". "The day you refused to accept (Narayan) Rane in Shiv Sena, I made up my mind to join the party. We will not bear any hooliganism in the region now and continue to fight for development while being with Shiv Sena," Kesarkar said while addressing a gathering here.
Kesarkar, who has been at loggerheads with Rane, had defied the NCP leadership ahead of Lok Sabha elections by refusing to campaign for Rane's son Nilesh who was seeking second term as an MP from Ratnagiri-Sindhudurg seat.
Nilesh lost to Shiv Sena candidate from the seat, which is Rane's pocketborough. Kesarkar said that he was not hankering for any post in Shiv Sena, in case the NDA forms next government in Maharashtra, but is joining the party for the development of his constituency.
Referring to resignation of Rane as state Industries Minister recently, Kesarkar said, "Narayan Rane gave his resignation not for people but for his personal gains." Kesarkar also took a dig at Rane for his allegation that it was Uddhav Thackeray who had troubled Shiv Sena supremo Bal Thackeray the most when the latter was alive. "Balasaheb gave two chief ministers from Konkan region. One turned out to be loyal and the other disloyal to him. It was this disloyal man who had troubled Balasaheb the most," he said without naming Rane.
Kesarkar said that he wanted to develop Konkan region and ensure that people there become independent. "We have created an atmosphere where people are no longer scared of Narayan Rane," he added.
Kesarkar said that he will be working for the upcoming Assembly polls, due later this year, with the support of Uddhav Thackeray.
Meanwhile, Narayan Rane while addressing reporters in Mumbai said that Kesarkar was a "failure" as a legislator. "Kesarkar has been a failure as an MLA. But for targetting me, he has done nothing else," Rane said.