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Denied LS poll ticket, BJP's Jalgaon MP Unmesh Patil joins Sena (UBT)

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Mumbai, Apr 3 (PTI) Unmesh Patil, the BJP MP from Jalgaon in north Maharashtra who failed to get the saffron party ticket for the upcoming Lok Sabha polls, joined the opposition Shiv Sena (UBT) on Wednesday.

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Patil joined the Sena (UBT) at 'Matoshree', the residence of party head and former state chief minister Uddhav Thackeray in suburban Mumbai, along with his followers.

The party, however, fielded Karan Pawar from the Jalgaon Lok Sabha seat as it announced his name along with those of the candidates for three other constituencies. With this, the party, which is part of the Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA), has fielded candidates for 21 parliamentary constituencies so far.

Addressing party workers, Patil said he joined the Shiv Sena (UBT) as he wanted to do "politics of change and not revenge".

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Speaking on the occasion, Thackeray took a dig at the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), saying it has the policy of "use and throw".

He said it was the Shiv Sainiks who took efforts that helped the BJP grow in Maharashtra.

Thackeray said this was the first time that the party was contesting the Jalgaon seat. Until 2019, when the undivided Shiv Sena was part of the National Democratic Alliance (NDA), the BJP fought this constituency.

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Shiv Sena (UBT) MP Sanjay Raut said Patil joining the party will bolster its prospects in Jalgaon and north Maharashtra and make its path to victory easier.

The BJP has replaced Patil with Smita Wagh in the Jalgaon parliamentary constituency.

Patil met Raut here on Tuesday, sparking speculation about his future political move.

The BJP is fighting the Lok Sabha polls, to be held in five phases in Maharashtra from April 19 to May 20, as part of the 'Mahayuti' (grand alliance) with Chief Minister Eknath Shinde-led Shiv Sena and the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) headed by Deputy CM Ajit Pawar as its two other constituents.

Maharashtra has 48 Lok Sabha seats. PTI PR GK NP

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