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In yet another setback for former Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray, Shiv Sena Spokesperson Sheetal Mhatre on Tuesday joined the faction of incumbent Maharashtra CM Eknath Shinde. She was a former corporator in Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) from the Dahisar area. According to offficial reports, Mhatre is the first former corporator of Shiv Sena from Mumbai who has openly announced support for Shinde.

Mhatre used to represent ward no 7 in suburban Dahisar in north Mumbai in 2012 and 2017. She along with some Shiv Sena workers visited Shinde’s residence and expressed her support to him on Tuesday night, news agency PTI reported.

Thackeray-led Sena had appointed Mhatre as the ‘sampark sanghatak’ (coordinator) for the Alibaug-Pen area. The development comes ahead of the crucial elections for the Sena-controlled Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) are slated to be held in the next few months.

The much-awaited for the Sena-controlled BMC are slated to be held in the next few months.

Interestingly, Mhatre chose to join the Shinde camp just days after an FIR was registered against her under Section 363 (kidnapping) and other relevant provisions of the Indian Penal Court (IPC) for allegedly abducting and assaulting a 22-year-old man in a moving car in Borivali.

Mhatre along with six others allegedly alighted the vehicle of the 22-year-old student Rahul Dhanuka and verbally abused and assaulted him.

Earlier in the day, Sena announced that it will support the Bharatiya Janata Party-led NDA’s Presidential candidate Draupadi Murmu vis-a-vis Opposition’s contender – Yashwant Sinha for the top post. Thackeray made the formal announcement during a presser after a series of consultations with the party MPs, MLAs and other leaders including tribals.

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