The two-decade-old alliance of the Shiv Sena and BJP hit a rocky patch on Sunday after senior party leaders got into a slugfest, publicly calling each other corrupt.
Jalgaon strongman Suresh Jain, who, after a stint with all political parties, is now with the Shiv Sena, launched a vitriolic attack on senior BJP leader Eknath Khadse calling him the most corrupt politician.
“There should be an inquiry into how Khadse procured so much property,” Jain said.
There has been a running feud between the two leaders for political supremacy in Jalgaon, their hometown.
Khadse, who has been with the BJP since its inception, is finding it hard to patch up with Jain.
The proverbial straw that broke the camel’s back was the defeat of Khadse’s son Nikhil in the recently held Maharashtra legislative council elections. Khadse blamed the defeat on Suresh Jain who supported the winning candidate Manish Jain.
Even though Suresh Jain had earlier stated he had no hand in Khadse’s defeat claimed, on Saturday, that he was instrumental in defeating Khadse’s son and would now also ensure Khadse’s defeat in the forthcoming elections.
“We defeated your son and will ensure that you are defeated too,” Jain said.
Meanwhile, a fuming Khadse said he was ready to face all inquiries and proof of his corrupt deeds should be presented. “Who is Jain? He has made a habit of joining political parties for his own convenience. If he has any proof against me he should present it,” Khadse told HT.
A public spat between two senior leaders of the alliance does not bode well for the two-decade-old Hindutva allies.
Uddhav Thackeray is already smarting after the visit of his cousin Raj Thackeray to the BJP office and needed a pacifying call from senior BJP leader LK Advani to ensure the alliance stayed intact.