Senior Shiv Sena leader Ramdas Kadam fired a salvo at his detractors in the party at a function at Goregaon on Wednesday, sparking off fresh controversy in the Sena.
Kadam – who was opposition leader in the legislative assembly following Narayan Rane’s exit from the party – told his party colleagues to introspect why the Sena had lost bastions such as Girgaum, Dadar and Lalbaug. “It is what the late Sena chief had expressed regret over in the days before his demise,” Kadam said.
He was speaking at a function organised by the party at Goregaon’s NESCO complex, where Sena president Uddhav Thackeray, too, addressed the gathering later. Kadam’s outrage brought to the fore a rift that had long been on the boil between senior leaders in the party.
He blamed his detractors within the party for the rumours that he was defecting to the NCP or the MNS. “If it comes to that, I will commit suicide by jumping before a car. I will not join a rival party,” Kadam said.
He also wondered aloud whether the party was becoming another Congress. He said he would be taking the issue to party president Uddhav. Interestingly, Kadam, seen as the Sena’s strongman in the Konkan following the exit of Narayan Rane, is not in Uddhav’s good books and neither does he get along well with some senior leaders such as Diwakar Raote.
During the recently concluded budget session of the state legislature, he had locked horns with Raote alleging the latter did not give others a chance to speak on important issues. Raote had spoken on the Maharashtra Societies Cooperative Act, 1960 for 7 hours.
Kadam’s hard-talk comes at a time when Uddhav is trying to get his party ready for the Lok Sabha elections. Party sources said any decision on Kadam would be taken by Uddhav.
However, Kadam has already been sidelined in the party and, hence, may not face any stringent action immediately.