New Delhi: In what can be called a big jolt to the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) ahead of the Maharashtra Assembly election 2019 as its leader and former MP from Mumbai North East Constituency Sanjay Dina Patil joined the Shiv Sena on Friday. He joined the party in the presence of party chief Uddhav Thackeray in Mumbai.

The development comes just two days after the Sharad Pawar-led NCP released its first list of 77 candidates for the upcoming Maharashtra Assembly elections.

As per the list, Chhagan Bhujbal will contest from Yeola constituency, party state president Jayant Patil will contest from Islampur Assembly constituency, party chief Sharad Pawar’s grand-nephew Ajit Pawar from Baramati and Rohit Pawar from Karjat Jamkhed.

Prior to Patil’s quitting the party, former Deputy Chief Minister Ajit had on September 27also quit as the MLA from Baramati. Ajit had to resign from the post as the ED has registered an Enforcement Case Information Report (ECIR) against Sharad Pawar, Ajit Pawar and others in connection with the Rs 25,000 crore Maharashtra State Co-operative Bank (MSCB) scam case.

Born on 16 January 1969, Sanjay Dina Patil was a member of 15th Lok Sabha from Mumbai North East constituency. He was elected to the 15th Lok Sabha as a Nationalist Congress Party candidate in May 2009.

Patil’s switching over to Shiv Sena is happening at a time when the party is fielding its candidate Aditya Thackeray for the first time to contest the Maharashtra Assembly polls from Worli seat .

Earlier in the day, Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis reiterated his support for Aditya Thackeray and said the young leader will win by a huge margin. “I am confident that Aditya Thackeray will win by a very huge margin in the elections and we will see him with us in the assembly,” Fadnavis said in a press conference, hours after filing nomination for the upcoming Maharashtra Assembly polls.