A fresh controversy broke in the Shinde camp after Chief Minister Eknath Shinde’s son and Kalyan-Dombivli MP Shrikant Shinde in an image was seen occupying purportedly the CM’s chair with the board behind it showing CM, Maharashtra Government. The state NCP’s youth wing leader Ravi Varpe took to Twitter to share the photo. In his tweet and video, Varpe said, ‘’Best wishes to Shrikant Shinde for becoming Super CM. In the absence of the Chief Minister his son is in charge of the CM’s post. The strangulation of Democracy is going on. What kind of Rajdarma is this?’’
Varpe took a dig at CM and also at Shrikant Shinde saying that,’’ We think that perhaps because the Chief Minister of the state is busy with Ganapati Mandal, Navratri festival, or Delhi visits, the responsibility of seeing the work of other people in the state has been given to Srikant Shinde as Super CM. Who is really looking after the affairs of the state? This state seems to be in turmoil.’’
Varpe claimed that the photo that he had uploaded in his tweet was from the office of the Chief Minister's official residence. In this photo, some people are spotted standing in front of the Chief Minister's table in the office. Shrikant Shinde is seen sitting on the chair purportedly of the CM and checking some documents. ‘’The chair is the pride of 13 crore people of Maharashtra. The CM’s chair is respected by everyone. If you want to attend other official meetings or informal meetings, you should sit beside the Chief Minister's chair,’’ he noted.
On the other hand, the Shiv Sena MLC and spokesperson Manisha Kayande also targeted CM Eknath Shinde. ‘’The photo has been going viral since this morning. It can be seen how all this is going on. It seems the CM's son is sitting on the Chief Minister's chair. It is seen that while a minister in the Uddhav Thackeray-led government how Aaditya Thackeray behaved. It is wrong for the Chief Minister's son to sit in the CM's chair. On the one hand, this government is illegal and has come to power in the wrong way and on the other hand, an illegal person is sitting on that chair", she claimed.
Shrikant Shinde Clarifies
After the uproar, Shrikant Shinde clarified that ‘’I think the opposition has nothing left to criticize, so such issues are being raised. The photo which is going viral is of our private residence at Thane, where we both sit for many years and solve people's problems. It is not an official residence. I have been a two-term MP and I am aware of the protocol. Today, the Chief Minister had a video conference, for which the 'Maharashtra Government' board was kept behind the chair but I did not know that.’’ He further said ‘’CM Eknath Shinde works for 18 to 20 hours. He’s a capable CM and no one needs to sit in his chair in his absence. There are no issues left to criticize him, so such issues are being raised. People have faith in the Chief Minister, nothing will be done by raking up such issues, we are doing our work.'’
Meanwhile, BJP leader and Forest Minister Sudhir Mungantiwar came out in open to defend CM Eknath Shinde’s son Shrikant Shinde after the opposition's attack. ‘’In two and a half years, there is nothing left to tell the leaders of Congress-Nationalist Party what decisions they took in the public interest. Maharashtra has also seen how a Shiv Sena leader ran with a chair for a NCP leader. Maharashtra has also seen how the Shiv Sena party chief and his son were bowing before Sonia Gandhi. Now they are talking about who is sitting on whose chair because it is not possible to say what has been done in two and a half years. If someone sits on that chair, there is nothing objectionable in it,’’ he said.
Mungantiwar said ‘’At the State Wildlife Board meeting, the Chief Minister said that you have to conduct this meeting as the Vice Chairman. So, if I sit on that chair, it does not mean that something has gone wrong", he explained.