Mumbai: Political temp rises in Shinde-Fadnavis camp after spat between independent MLAs over 'Khoka' charges

The war of words between Bacchu Kadu and Ravi Rana erupted when a section of BJP legislators met Chief Minister Eknath Shinde and complained against stepmotherly treatment over allocation of funds.

Sanjay JogUpdated: Thursday, October 27, 2022, 09:55 PM IST
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Representative image | ANI

Mumbai: Political fireworks continued post-Diwali as Independent MLAs Bacchu Kadu and Ravi Rana sparred on Wednesday over alleged wheeling-dealing that toppled the previous Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government. 

The war of words between Kadu and Rana erupted when a section of BJP legislators met Chief Minister Eknath Shinde and complained against stepmotherly treatment over allocation of funds. They objected to a higher share of funds to legislators in his camp and reminded him that it’s an alliance government with the BJP. 

Rana alleges Kadu received Rs 50 crore to switch sides

Rana has alleged that Kadu, the founder of Prahar Sanghatana, received Rs 50 crore (50 khoka) to switch sides from Uddhav Thackeray’s Shiv Sena to the faction led by Shinde. Kadu has threatened an undisclosed extreme step if Shinde and Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis don’t issue a clarification on Rana’s charge of horse trading. However, both Shinde and Fadnavis have chosen to distance themselves from the controversy.

“Allegations made by Rana are quite serious. He should provide evidence. I urge top leaders to clear the air over this,” Kadu said.

Kadu's wait for ministerial berth

Kadu is anxiously waiting for a ministerial berth in the upcoming expansion as he was not accommodated in the expansion announced on August 9. He has proclaimed support of a handful of legislators, who are equally hurt by Rana’s accusations. 

Rana, a staunch supporter of Fadnavis, has remained resolute and undeterred, though. “Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis is my leader. I don’t care who gives what kind of ultimatum. When the Chief Minister and Deputy Chief Minister call, I will meet them. I will follow what Mr Fadnavis says,” he said. 

Shinde camp spokesperson and School Education Minister Deepak Kesarkar has urged Kadu to show restraint and hinted that he will soon be seen in the Cabinet. 

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