The wife of a late Shiv Sena leader – who was very close to the Thackeray family – has joined the BJP.
Former Shiv Sena MLA from Bandra East, Trupti Sawant, joined the BJP in presence of the leader of opposition Devendra Fadnavis and his counterpart in Council Pravin Darekar.
The Kalanagar bungalow of the Thackerays, Matoshree, falls in the Bandra East Vidhan Sabha seat.
The development is being seen as a move to challenge Shiv Sena president and Maharashtra chief minister Uddhav Thackeray in his own backyard.
Trupti is the wife of late Prakash Sawant, popularly known as Bala Sawant, who was considered close to late Shiv Sena supremo Balasaheb Thackeray.
शिवसेनेच्या माजी आमदार तृप्ती सावंत यांनी आज माजी मुख्यमंत्री आणि विधानसभेतील विरोधी पक्षनेते @Dev_Fadnavis यांच्या उपस्थितीत भाजपात प्रवेश केला.विधानपरिषदेतील विरोधी पक्षनेते प्रवीण दरेकर,मुंबई भाजपाचे अध्यक्ष मंगल प्रभात लोढा,नितेश राणे,अतुल भातखळकर आणि इतरही नेते उपस्थित होते. pic.twitter.com/xdlpkNOPzz
— @OfficeOfDevendra (@Devendra_Office) April 6, 2021
Late Sawant, a three-time corporator in the BrihanMumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC), had won the Maharashtra Legislative Assembly seat in 2009 and 2014 from Bandra East.
However, after his demise in 2015, Trupti was given the ticket by Uddhav Thackeray.
In the keenly-watched bye-polls polls, she had defeated veteran politician Narayan Rane, who was then with the Congress. Rane contested the seat from Mumbai, as he lost the 2014 polls from Kudal in Sindhudurg.
A former Shiv Sainik, Rane is a former chief minister and ex-leader of opposition. Currently, he is a BJP Rajya Sabha member.
Mumbai: Trupti Sawant, former Shiv Sena MLA, joins Bharatiya Janata Party in presence of Devendra Fadnavis. pic.twitter.com/611m2Hr6er
— ANI (@ANI) April 6, 2021
However, in the October 2019 Assembly polls, she was denied a nomination, after which she rebelled and filed papers as an Independent to contest against the party’s official candidate and then Mumbai mayor Prof Vishwanath Mahadeshwar.
Both Trupti and Prof Mahadeshwar lost the polls to Congress’ candidate Zeeshan Siddiqui, the son of former minister Baba Siddiqui.
Trupti, who was expelled from the party for rebellion, after lying low, has not joined the BJP.
When she joined the saffron party, besides Fadnavis and Darekar’s others present were BJP Mumbai president Mangalprabhat Lodha, MLAs Atul Bhatkhalkar and MLA Nitesh Rane, the son of Rane Senior.