Its election time and once again knives are out. It's also a time when friends turn foes and are daggers drawn. Kirtikumar Bhangadia, a youth leader from Vidarbha and once a close confidante of former Maharashtra minister and an MLA from Chimur in Chandrapur district, Vijay Wadettiwar, on Tuesday alleged that Wadettiwar has given a supari (contract) to finish him.
Bhangadia, who took the cudgels against Wadettiwar in Chandrapur and Gadchiroli district, first capturing the Gadchiroli municipality last month and now fielding candidates in both the districts through Vidarbha Jansangram Samiti, claimed that he knew about the ‘supari’ when Chimur police provided him security on Sunday in view of such a threat.
According to him, Wadettiwar the former minister had given the ‘contract to kill him’ to one Lucky Khan, who was arrested under Maharashtra organised crime control act. "We received one such complaint from Bhangadia’s close associate Suraj Kapse and accordingly provided him security," informed Punjabrao Madavi, in-charge of Chimur police station.
The Bhangadia-Wadettiwar tussle came to the fore in December 2011 when Bhangadia fielded candidates in Gadchiroli municipality elections against the candidates fielded by Wadettiwar and captured the entire municipality.
His proximity with deputy chief minister Ajit Pawar also perturbed Wadettiwar, once a close associate of senior Maharashtra minister Narayan Rane. There was a strong rumour about Bhangadia joining the NCP.
The situation aggravated in the ensuing zilla parishad elections when Bhangadia fielded candidates from north Gadchiroli and Chimur and Bramhapuri assembly areas in Chandrapur which are being dominated by Wadettiwar.
Supporters of Bhangadia even manhandled the personal assistant of Wadettiwar on January 28 at Chimur when he abused Bhangadia for challenging the former Maharashtra minister in the region.
The youth leader alleged that a deal of Rs 40-lakh was finalized with two criminals to finish him and an advance of Rs 12 lakh was already paid. "I requested the district police and the state home department to inquire into the matter and initiate necessary action against Wadettiwar," he added.
However, Wadettiwar dismissed the allegations and said that he was ready for any probe in this connection. "Bhangadia is resorting to cheap gimmicks and my character assassination on the eve of local-self body elections," he said and informed that he has already met the Chandrapur district superintendent and urged him to probe the matter. "I am also seriously thinking of filing a defamation suit against Bhangadia," he added.
The Chimur police said that they were investigating the matter and trying to locate Lucky Khan, whose name figured in the complaint. "We are also suggesting to the home ministry to ban the entry of both, Wadettiwar and Bhangadia in Chandrapur and Gadchiroli district during the elections of zilla parishad in view of law and order situation," says Madavi, the in-charge of Chimur police station.