Sanjay Dina Patil, Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) leader and former MP from Mumbai North East Constituency, on Friday joined Shiv Sena in presence of party chief Uddhav Thackeray.
The development comes as a relief for Shiv Sena, the ally of ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in Maharashtra, as it comes a day after its MLA from Palghar, Amit Ghoda, joined the NCP. He joined the party in the presence of senior leader Ajit Pawar and Nawab Malik.
Amit won by-poll from Palghar in February 2016 following the death of his father and sitting Sena MLA Krishna Ghoda.
Several leaders have jumped ship ahead of upcoming Assembly elections in Maharashtra. On Wednesday, former BJP MLA Manikrao Kokate joined the Sharad Pawar-led party. Kokate is set to contest the Assembly polls from Sinnar in Nashik district.
Congress MLA Bharat Bhalke joined the NCP on September 30. Bhalke will contest from Solapur's Pandhapur. Former BJP legislator Vijay Ghodmare switched allegiance to the NCP on September 14 and is the opposition party's candidate from Hingana constituency in Nagpur.
On the other hand, former Maharashtra ministers Ganesh Naik and Sachin Ahir, Satara MP Udayanraje Bhosale, MLAs Shivendrasinh Bhosale, Vaibhav Pichad and Sandip Naik and others quit the NCP recently to join the ruling BJP or Shiv Sena.