The state Congress unit has been plunged into a controversy over missing electoral funds worth Rs 10 crore.
While the party has officially refuted the claim and even refused to lodge a police complaint, one of the secretaries of the party, Bhalchandra Nikumbh, has alleged that the money went missing from a flat rented by the party in Dadar, and that state party president Manikrao Thakre should take responsibility for the missing cash.
Thakre, however, has refuted the claim that electoral funds went missing from any office or official party venue, and has, in turn, questioned the motive behind such statements.
“Party funds have not gone missing, and if a secretary is making such claims, then I question the motive behind it. As a party, we are not aware of this,” said Thakre.
At the core of the controversy are complaints by party candidates that electoral funds from the party fell way short before the Assembly elections, with many candidates claiming they didn’t get any help from the party.
Sources said there is a likelihood that rivalries inside the party are responsible for the controversy, with someone senior tying to get back at Thakre. A meeting has been scheduled on October 5 for all Congress legislators, to zero in on the group leader.
Meanwhile, senior party leader Narayan Rane, who addressed a press conference on behalf of the party, said he was unaware of any theft of party funds. He added that the amount was meagre and the leadership should have ensured that the prospects of the party’s candidates were not affected by the theft.