Mumbai, Feb 5 (IANS) Two days after Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) lawmaker Ganpat Kalu Gaikwad was arrested for allegedly shooting a ruling Shiv Sena leader in Ulhasnagar, several ministers from the latter’s party on Monday called to Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis.
Shiv Sena ministers met Fadnavis ahead of the state cabinet meeting chaired by Chief Minister Eknath Shinde, Excise Minister Shambhuraj Desai told the media later.
The ostensible reason for the meeting was Gaikwad’s comments that made serious allegations against the CM, accusing Shinde of assuming that he owed him a lot of money and establishing a criminal feud in the state.
“Shinde is trying to set up a thug kingdom in the state. He cheated Uddhav Thackeray, he will also betray the BJP. He owes me crores of rupees. Shinde should resign if Maharashtra is to be governed well. This is my humble plea by Fadnavis and Prime Minister Narendra Modi,” Gaikwad had said before being taken away by the Thane police.
Apparently unnerved by the allegations leveled publicly by a government ally naming and addressing the chief minister directly, the delegation is understood to have conveyed its sentiments to Fadnavis, calling the comments “baseless and unwarranted”.
It may be recalled that on Friday night (February 2), Gaikwad had opened fire on Shiv Sena Kalyan-Ulhasnagar leader Mahesh Gaekwad inside Ghatkopar’s Hill Line police station, triggering a major political furore.
Mahesh Gaekwad suffered six bullet injuries and his aide Rahul Patil received two bullets.
Gaekwad underwent a six-hour emergency bullet-removal surgery at Jupiter Hospital in CM Shinde’s hometown of Thane on Saturday and his condition is now gradually improving.
Taking a serious note of the incident, CM Shinde and his son Dr Shrikant E. Shinde, MLA from Kalyan, have visited Gaekwad several times in the hospital to inquire about his health.
Gaikwad’s comments, now in police custody till February 14, have not gone down well with the party’s grassroots as they came from an allied leader ahead of the Lok Sabha elections.