Thane, April 9: Raju Waghmare, a spokesperson of the Maharashtra unit of Congress, on Tuesday quit the party and joined the Shiv Sena led by Chief Minister Eknath Shinde. He joined the Sena at a function at `Anand Ashram', former residence-cum-office of late Sena leader Anand Dighe, here.

Speaking on the occasion, Shinde said the party will benefit from his experience. Waghmare would be a deputy leader and spokesperson of the Shiv Sena, he announced. Talking to reporters, Waghmare claimed the Congress' failure to make a strong claim to Sangli and Bhiwandi Lok Sabha seats during the seat-sharing talks in the Maha Vikas Aghadi alliance led to confusion and concerns among party workers. Lok Sabha Elections 2024: MVA Partners Finalise Seat-Sharing Deal in Maharashtra; Uddhav Thackeray's Shiv Sena to Contest 21 Seats, Congress 17 and Sharad Pawar's NCP 10

He decided to join the Shiv Sena after observing Shinde's style of functioning, he said, adding that the chief minister cares for the people as well as party workers. "Even when I was in opposition, I praised his work," Waghmare said. The chief minister said his government has removed negativity and brought in positivity in politics, and its good work has given people confidence. Maharashtra Lok Sabha Elections 2024: MVA Announces Seat-Sharing in State; Congress To Contest 17 Lok Sabha Seats, Shiv Sena (UBT) 21

The opposition has no right to announce a manifesto for the next 50 years, Shinde said. "In fact, they should give people an account of their performance in the last 50 years," he said. On opposition leaders targeting him for holding political meetings at his official residence 'Varsha', Shinde said there was nothing wrong with holding such meetings there. All was well with the ruling 'Mahayuti' alliance, Shinde said, informing that its candidates for the remaining Lok Sabha seats in Maharashtra will be announced soon.