Mumbai: The rat and the tea scam are still nagging Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis like a bad toothache. He made his unhappiness known by refusing to share the dais with NCP chief Sharad Pawar and former BJP minister Eknath Khadse at Jalgaon on Friday. Though CMO cited health reasons for CM skipping the function, party insiders claimed he is upset with Khadse over the attack on his own government during the recently concluded budget session. As per his schedule on Friday, Fadnavis had to lay the foundation stone of a 660 MW power generation unit at Deep Nagar in Bhusawal at 11 am. Later he had to attend the opening of a Jain Food project and grace the Appasaheb Pawar Modern High Tech Agriculture award ceremony, where Pawar was the chief guest.
Khadse and other local leaders were also guest at these functions. According to source in the Jalgaon BJP unit, the CMO informed them at around 9.30 am about the health issues of Fadnavis. But the source added that health was merely a ruse and Fadnavis was not inclined to attend a programme attended by Pawar and Khadse. “Khadse, though he a member of the ruling party, had exposed the rat scam in Mantralaya which brought the government much ridicule. It also maligned the image of Fadnavis as he heads the General Administration Department,” claimed the source. The CM is miffed with Pawar too, who had commented on the binge tea drinking in CMO by saying: “I do not know such a huge amount can be spent on tea.”