Nagpur: Congress in the city received a shot in the arm ahead of Nagpur Municipal Corporation (NMC) elections with two more sitting Corporators joining the party on Friday. Ramesh Punekar of Bharatiya Janata Party and Shravan Khapekar of Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) deserted their respective parties and embraced Congress at a function being held at Hotel Radisson Blue in the presence MPCC President Ashok Chavan. Chavan was in city in connection with party’s protest agitation against the demonetization decision of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Citing the reason for quitting BJP and joining Congress, Punekar blamed the Central Nagpur MLA Vikas Kumbhare for his authoritarian attitude. “Kumbhare was discriminating against him and stalling his progress in the party,” Punekar said. A prominent Halba leader, Punekar is Corporator from Golibar Chowk area and was also Chairman of NMC’s Gandhibagh Zone.
Shravan Khapekar said that he had joined MNS inspired by its charismatic leader Raj Thackeray. “However, the MNS office-bearers in city were not cooperating with me in my efforts to carry out development in my Prabhag. Fed up with the non-cooperation and sidelining, I decided to join Congress,” Khapekar reasoned.
Recently, two sitting Corporators — Shiv Sena’s Sheetal Gharat and Bhavna Dhakne of BRP-BMS had entered the Congress fold in presence of Ashok Chavan, President of Maharashtra Pradesh Congress Committee (MPCC) and Mohan Prakash, Congress in-charge for Maharashtra.
Three more sitting Corporators had earlier joined Congress during the Winter Session of State Assembly. They include Kishor Gajbhiye of BSP and independents Kishor Dorle and Kavita Sangole.