The Hindu (Mumbai)

Kadam urges Modi to pull up Maharashtr­a BJP leaders for ‘eyeing’ seats held by Sena

- Shoumojit Banerjee

Amid the tussle among the partners of the ruling Mahayuti alliance for the 48 Lok Sabha seats in Maharashtr­a, Shiv Sena leader Ramdas Kadam has urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah to “pull up” BJP leaders in the State.

Mr. Kadam, a former Cabinet Minister and fourterm MLA from Khed in Konkan region, has been vocal against the BJP staking claim to seats where the sitting MP is from the Sena. The Sena leader’s son, Dapoli MLA Yogesh Kadam, has alleged that his officebear­ers are being inducted into the BJP.

“These places belong to the Sena. Yet, BJP leaders are touring them, poaching our cadre, and trying to claim them for themselves. Be it RatnagiriS­indhudurg, Maval or Sambhajina­gar seats, this is occurring everywhere. This is condemnabl­e,” he said.

‘Ensure no betrayal’

Mr. Kadam said Sena chief and Chief Minister Eknath Shinde had taken a big risk by aligning with the BJP. “We have joined the BJP by keeping our trust in Modi and Shah. They must ensure that there will not be a betrayal,” he said.

Downplayin­g the outburst, BJP leader and Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis said, “I have known Mr. Kadam for many years. At times, he speaks out of anger. But BJP has always treated the Sena with great respect.”

Recently, Mr. Kadam had protested against BJP leader and Union Minister Narayan Rane staking claim to the RatnagiriS­indhudurg Lok Sabha seat. The Sena leader had questioned whether “the BJP wants to finish every other party and live alone”.

Mr. Rane, a former Rajya Sabha member, was not renominate­d for the Upper House. There are strong indication­s that the BJP may field him in the Lok Sabha poll from Konkan region, and that he is eyeing the RatnagiriS­indhudurg seat.

 ?? ?? CM Eknath Shinde with Shiv Sena leader Ramdas Kadam.
CM Eknath Shinde with Shiv Sena leader Ramdas Kadam.

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