'Same washing machine is…': Congress's jibe at BJP, ex partymen in one tweet
Sanjay Rathod joined the Shinde camp after the latter rebelled against the Shiv Sena leadership in June this year, which had led to the collapse of the Thackeray government.
Amid disquiet in the BJP over induction of tainted Shiv Sena MLAs in Maharashtra cabinet, Congress took a swipe at the saffron party for “washing” a Shiv Sainik who was forced to resign from the Maha Vikas Aghadi government. Senior Congress leader Jairam Ramesh said in a tweet that that former Congressmen with “skeletons in their cupboards” became chief ministers, ministers, members of parliament and members of legislative assembly by taking advantage of the BJP's “washing machine”.
“Now the same machine is washing a Shiv Sainik who’s become a Minister now after having been forced to resign when BJP was in the Opposition in Maharashtra,” he added.
The swipe was an apparent reference to the induction of rebel Shiv Sena MLA Sanjay Rathod into the Eknath Shinde-led Maharashtra cabinet. Rathod was forced to resign last year from previous Uddhav Thackeray-led Maha Vikas Aghadi government after his name was linked to the death of a woman in Pune.
The inclusion of Rathod became a big bone of contention between Shinde and his deputy, Devendra Fadnavis, according to sources close to the negotiations over cabinet formation. Shinde reportedly expressed helplessness over the induction of Rathod and another rebel Sena MLA, Abdul Sattar, saying both had threatened extreme measures if they were not included in the cabinet.
BJP's state vice-president Chitra Wagh called Rathod's induction “unfortunate” and vowed to fight against it.
“It is very unfortunate that former minister Sanjay Rathod, who caused the death of Pooja Chavan, has been given the post of minister again. Even though Sanjay Rathod has become a minister again, I will continue my fight against him,” Wagh tweeted.
Shinde defended the induction of Rathod into the state cabinet, saying police had given him a clean chit in a case of a woman's death.
"During the MVA (rule), he (Rathod) was given a clean chit. So, he was included in the cabinet. Police had given him a clean chit. If anyone has anything more to say on it, then that can be heard out," Shinde told reporters.
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