Mumbai, March 12 (IANS) Terming himself sidelined in the Congress for over five years, former Shiv Sena union leader and legislator Shrikant Sarmalkar Saturday returned to his old party amid fanfare.
“It is like homecoming for me. I always wanted to come back to the Shiv Sena. I grew up in the party and I feel it was a mistake leaving the Sena,” Sarmalkar, a close aide of Maharashtra Revenue Minister Narayan Rane, told mediapersons at a function held in ‘Matoshri’, the residence of Sena supremo Thackeray in Bandra.
Sarmalkar had left the Shiv Sena along with Rane and several other prominent leaders in 2005 to join the Congress.
Welcoming him back to the party fold, Shiv Sena’s executive president Uddhav Thackeray said that earlier Sarmalkar worked as a firebrand leader and will continue to do so.
“We are happy that he is back in the party. Several others also want to return, but we shall take a decision in the matter later,” he said.
Sarmalkar, who said that he left the Congress as he did not get any important position or grew in that party, expressed his willingness to accept any responsibility in the Sena.
He is expected to return to handling the Sena’s union politics which has been rudderless since Kiran Pawaskar left for the Nationalist Congress Party earlier this year and was elected to the legislative council last month.