Blow to Uddhav Thackeray: Rahul Kalate Set To Join Shiv Sena’s Ranks Under Eknath Shinde

Rahul Kalate

Pune: In a significant setback to Uddhav Thackeray’s faction, Rahul Kalate from Chinchwad has decided to join Eknath Shinde’s Shiv Sena. This move comes as a blow to Thackeray’s group, with Kalate expressing his desire to work under the leadership of the Chief Minister. Today, Kalate will officially join Shiv Sena along with four former corporators of Pimpri Chinchwad.

The influx of politicians from Thackeray’s camp to Shinde’s Shiv Sena shows no signs of slowing down, even after a year of rebellion. Not long ago, Shiv Sena leaders Manisha Kayande and Neelam Gorhe made the switch to the Shinde group. Upon joining, Kayande was entrusted with a significant responsibility by Eknath Shinde, who demonstrated his faith in her. Similarly, Rahul Kanal, a close associate of Aditya Thackeray, also joined Shiv Sena and voiced his criticisms towards Thackeray. Former corporator Amey Ghole, who was also close to Aditya Thackeray, expressed his discontent and waited for an opportunity to make a move.

Rahul Kalate, who hails from a family with a Congress background, contested the municipal election on an NCP ticket in 2002. In 2014, he ran for the Assembly on a Shiv Sena ticket and secured the second-highest number of votes. Kalate became a corporator from Shiv Sena in 2017 and held prominent positions within the party. During the 2019 assembly alliance, he revolted. He has also been supported by NCP, Congress, and Vanchit Bahujan Aaghadi. He contested the election against the BJP MLA Laxman Jagtap. However, his deposit was confiscated during the subsequent by-election, leading him to adopt a wait-and-watch approach.

With each defection, the balance of power within the political landscape undergoes significant shifts. Rahul Kalate’s decision to join Shinde’s Shiv Sena adds another layer of complexity to the ongoing political dynamics in the region.

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