Mumbai: In a major setback to the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP), Jaydutt Kshirsagar, a two-term MLA from Beed constituency and public works department (PWD) minister in the erstwhile Congress-NCP government, has resigned from MLA post and is likely to join Shiv Sena, today, in the presence of party chief Uddhav Thackeray.

This move by NCP leader can be linked to the Lok Sabha Elections 2019 exit polls which predicted a landslide victory for the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-Shiv Sena coalition in Maharashtra. Most of the exit polls have predicted 38 seats for the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) and 10 seats for United Progressive Alliance (UPA), out of 48 seats.

Kshirsagar was said to be unhappy with the party leadership for a long time for being sidelined in the local politics and the exit polls may have worked as the last nail in the coffin. During the 2019 Lok Sabha election campaign, Kshirsagar had openly supported the NDA candidate Pritam Munde and asked the people to cast their vote in Munde’s favour.

Speculations of Kshirsagar joining the Shiv Sena were rife after he met Uddhav Thackeray last month. He had claimed that the visit was nothing but a courtesy meeting but the Sena had said that he was likely to join the Party.

“Jaidutt Kshirsagar ji has already met Uddhavji. He will join the Shiv Sena at the right time, but very soon,” said Sena Secretary and Uddhav’s aide Milind Narvekar to Mumbai Mirror.

The move by Kshirsagar will also affect the Maharashtra Assembly elections which are due in October this year.

Currently, the NDA government in Maharashtra has 194 seats out of 288 assembly constituencies. The coalition comprises of the BJP with 128 seats and the Shiv Sena with 66 seats.