Those who lack courage and strength to fight the Assembly election on their own are deserting the party, the NCP said on Thursday after its Mumbai unit chief Sachin Ahir joined the ruling Shiv Sena ahead of the Maharashtra Assembly polls.
The NCP further said Ahir's decision to join the Sena will not affect the Sharad Pawar-led party's poll prospects.
Ahir, who was a minister in the previous Congress-NCP coalition government in the state, joined the Shiv Sena here on Thursday in the presence of party president Uddhav Thackeray and Yuva Sena chief Aaditya Thackeray.
Reacting to the development, NCP's chief spokesperson Nawab Malik said, "His joining the Shiv Sena will have no bearing on our party's poll prospects.
"Those who are leaving the party are the ones who lack spunk and strength to fight polls on their own. They have surrendered to the ruling party to remain afloat in politics," Malik told PTI over phone, without naming Ahir.
He said the NCP has alternatives available and will fight the Assembly polls, due in September-October this year, with full might.
Hitting out at Ahir, Malik claimed he did not do any justice to his role as NCP's Mumbai unit chief over the past five years.
"Those who are alive, swim against the current. Those who are dead are washed away. Comrades, if you are alive, it is important to be seen as one. Jai Hind, Jai Rashtravad," Malik said in a tweet.