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BJP offered me Rs5 crore to defect, alleges Shiv Sena MLA

Harshvardhan Jadhav said he was made the offer during his follow- up meeting with state revenue minister Chandrakant Patil in connection with improvement of roads in his constituency

mumbai Updated: Nov 16, 2017 00:09 IST
Swapnil Rawal
Swapnil Rawal
Hindustan Times
Shiv Sena,BJP,Harshvardhan Jadhav
The BJP termed Jadhav’s allegations as ‘baseless’ and a ‘publicity stunt.(HT)

Shiv Sena MLA Harshvardhan Jadhav on Wednesday accused the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) of horse-trading. Jadhav, a legislator from Kannad in Aurangabad district, alleged he was offered Rs5 crore to switch to the BJP by senior BJP leader and state revenue minister Chandrakant Patil.

Jadhav said he was made the offer during his follow- up meeting with Patil in connection with improvement of roads in his constituency. Patil also holds the public works department portfolio. “During one such meeting on October 17 in Mumbai, Patil asked me why I don’t switch to the BJP. He suggested I contest the by-poll on a BJP ticket and that they would give Rs 4-5 crore for the election expense,”said Jadhav. He also alleged the BJP has already approached some other Sena MLAs with similar offers.

The allegation is a fresh jolt to the frayed ties between the two parties in Maharashtra.

The BJP, however, rubbished the claims made by Jadhav. “These are totally baseless allegations. The party has a habit of doing such stunts. Nothing of that sort has ever happened,” said Keshav Upadhye, state BJP spokesperson. The party’s state BJP spokerperson, Madhav Bhandari called it a “publicity stunt” and said, “He [Jadhav] has failed miserably in his constituency. Because of his incompetency and negligence, the voters are apathetic towards him and that is why is his trying to divert the attention. It is a publicity gimmick.”

Jadhav, who incidentally is the son-in-law of BJP state president Raosaheb Danve, slammed the BJP for employing “short-cuts” to reach the halfway mark in the state Assembly. “The BJP is not doing any development work in the state and is using a short-cut to success. Currently, the relations between the two parties are not great, so it [BJP] is trying to take advantage of this to get 20-25 MLAs on its side so that they don’t have to seek support from Uddhav ji [Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray],” Jadhav said. He said the BJP could have approached other Sena MLAs with similar offers.

The BJP has 122 MLAs, while the Sena has 63 in the 288-member House. Since the BJP is 23 MLAs short of a simple majority, the Sena has lent it support in the Assembly.

Read more:
Gujarat elections: Shiv Sena’s Maharashtra ministers to campaign against BJP

First Published: Nov 16, 2017 00:09 IST