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Lone MNS MLA, Sharad Sonawane joins Shiv Sena

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Mumbai, Mar 11: Five years after quitting the Shiv Sena, the Maharashtra Navnirman Sena's (MNS) lone MLA, Sharad Sonawane from Junnar in Pune, on Monday joined Shiv Sena.

Lone MNS MLA, Sharad Sonawane to join Shiv Sena today

Sonawane, along with his supporters, joined Sena in presence of party president Uddhav ThackerayJunnar assembly segment is part of Shirur Lok Sabha constituency, which is currently represented by Sena MP Shivajirao Adhalrao Patil.

Apparently unhappy with the MNS, he met Shiv Sena President Uddhav Thackeray last week along with some supporters. "He explained the situation on the ground and said that he would join the Sena.

Why Shiv Sena agreed for an alliance with BJP]

However, his re­-entry into the Sena wouldn't be a cakewalk for him as the party's workers in Junnar have put up a stiff opposition to him.

Known for his organisational skills, Sonawane is a businessman who became socially and politically active about nine years before joining the Sena in the early oughties. Even though he was made the
ena district vice­president, owing to his differences with the party MP and other local leaders, he was denied a ticket in the last assembly election. The Sena instead fielded his long­time rival Ashatai Buchke. This upset Sonawane and just before of the poll, he joined the MNS.

Sonawane went on to defeat Buchke by a margin of nearly 17,000 votes.

Sonawane's exit will be a big blow to the MNS. The party, which had 13 MLAs in 2009, lost all but one seats in 2014.

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