I’ll not work to break NCP, but will strengthen Shiv Sena

Mumbai: Former Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) leader Sachin Ahir, who joined Shiv Sena on Thursday, said that he will work towards strengthening the Uddhav Thackeray-led party and will not try to break the NCP.

“I will not work to break NCP, but will work to strengthen Shiv Sena,” Ahir told media here after joining Shiv Sena in presence of the party chief and his son Aditya Thackeray.

“We were in talks for the past few days and now it’s happening. I had arranged a meeting between Uddhav ji and Sachin ji and today he is joining our party,” Aditya said.

He also tied a ‘Shiv Bandhan’ – a wrist band for party members – on Ahir’s wrist to formally induct him into the outfit.

Uddhav Thackeray said that Shiv Sena never tried to break any party, but they welcome people “who come wholeheartedly.”

“I assure that Sachin Ahir will not regret his decision. He has joined the party with his family… Politics should be done like politics and we will not leave our principles. But yes we will not leave any stone unturned for expansion and strengthening of our party,” he said.

Asked whether he will take part in Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis’ ‘Maha Janadesh Yatra’, Uddhav Thackeray said, “Both the Yatras (‘Maha Janadesh Yatra’ and Aditya Thackeray’s ‘Jan Ashirwad Yatra’) are for the betterment of our (BJP-Shiv Sena) alliance, and it doesn’t matter much that Shiv Sena becomes part of Chief Minister’s Yatra or not.”

He added, “Even if we come to that Yatra questions will be raised and if we don’t come to that, then also questions will be raised… So, understand one thing – both Yatras are for the betterment of the alliance.”

Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis will take out a ‘Maha Janadesh Yatra’ throughout the state from August 1 beginning from Gurukunj Mozari in Amravati district. The first phase will be from August 1 to 9 and will cover areas in Mozari till Nandurbar in north Maharashtra.

The second phase will be from August 17 to 31 covering areas between Sambhaji Nagar and Nashik. The 25-day yatra will cover 152 assembly constituencies in a distance of 4,232 kilometres spread across 30 of 36 districts in the state.

He will also hold 104 rallies, 228 Swagat Sabhas and 20 press conferences.