Mumbai, Jan 30 (IANS) In yet another jolt to the Congress in two days, a top Konkan politician and four-time legislator Shankar Kambli walked over to the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) here Monday.
Kambli, a close protege of Industry Minister and Konkan strongman Narayan Rane, claimed he was being “sidelined by the Congress” in the past few years.
He was welcomed in the party fold by NCP state president Madhukar Pichad at the party headquarters here Monday evening.
This is the second major election-eve defection, the first being Shivaji Mane, a former MP and Hingoli district president, who walked over to the NCP citing similar reasons.
A staunch supporter of Rane, Kambli had won thrice from Vengurla assembly constituency in 1995, 1999 and 2004 on a Shiv Sena ticket.
Later in 2005, when Rane was expelled from Shiv Sena and joined the Congress, Kambli followed suit.
He contested and won a by-election from the same seat in 2006 on a Congress ticket, defeating his erstwhile party Shiv Sena.
Besides Kambli, other important leaders like Shiv Sena MP from Kalyan, Anand Paranjpe, and Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) member of legislative council Dhananjay Munde, who has raised a banner of revolt against the former deputy chief minister and his uncle Gopinath Munde, are openly hobnobbing with the NCP, daring their respective parties to sack them.