A day after Chief Minister Ashok Chavan expanded his Cabinet, senior Congressman and former state agriculture minister Govindrao Adik alleged that the Congress had replaced him with a ‘turncoat’ barely an hour before Thursday’s swearing-in ceremony. Loyalists were routinely being denied ministerial berths, he added.
The former state Congress chief told reporters on Friday that ‘a leader’ from Ahmed-nagar (Radhakrishna Vikhe-Patil) had rebelled against the Congress a decade ago and joined the Shiv Sena. “This politician and his father (Balasaheb Vikhe-Patil) had even floated a forum to oppose the late Rajiv Gandhi,” said Adik, also from Ahmednagar.
Adik also hit out indirectly at Shiv Sainik-turned-Cong-ressman Narayan Rane, who was made minister despite rebelling against the Congress barely two months ago.
Seconds later, though, he had words of support for the former Revenue minister, saying: “Rane’s allegations are true… the same set of people schemed against me too. On Thursday, the Protocol Department invited me to Raj Bhavan for the swearing-in but later informed me that my name was missing from the final list of three.”
State party president Manik-rao Thakare said Adik should avoid making public statements. “He should discuss such issues with the leadership.”