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'Guns, goons & govt': MVA accuses ruling Mahayuti of hiring gangsters before elections

PUNJAB NEWS LINE | February 06, 2024 02:11 PM

MUMBAI: Congress’ Leader of Opposition (Assembly) Vijay Wadettiwar and Shiv Sena (UBT) MP Sanjay Raut accused the ruling Mahayuti government of ‘recruiting gangsters’ and baddies in its grand coalition ahead of the elections, here on Tuesday.

“Before the elections, the recruitment of gangsters in the grand coalition! All the three parties in power have a fierce competition to strengthen their own gangs,” said Wadettiwar, referring to the ruling trio of Shiv Sena-Bharatiya Janata Party-Nationalist Congress Party (AP).

“The rule of gangsters continues in Maharashtra… MLAs of the ruling party shoot inside the police station. Why did the gangsters become so strong? Who is responsible for this state of affairs,” demanded Raut of the MVA bloc.

Reacting to the MVA charges, Shiv Sena Minister Deepak Kesarkar said that many people call on the CM daily. "We cannot stop them from meeting the CM or clicking pictures with him. The allegations have no basis," said Kesarkar.

Citing examples, Wadettiwar said that the Chief Minister Eknath Shinde’s son, Dr. Shrikant E. Shinde held a meeting with a known gangster Hemant Dabhekar -- an aide of the slain Pune don Sharad Mohol.

Pictures of Dabhekar allegedly visiting the CM’s official residence ‘Varsha’ to felicitate Dr. Shinde on his birthday are viral on the social media.

Another Pune baddie Nilesh Ghaiwal called on the CM at ‘Varsha’ and photos of that trip are also doing the rounds on social media, embarrassing the ruling coalition.

Deputy CM Ajit Pawar’s son created waves when he wittingly or unwittingly called on a notorious history-sheeter Gajanan Marne in Pune, leading to many red faces in the breakaway NCP (AP) last month.

Even as a much-concerned father, he pulled the ears of his son for the indiscretion, Ajit Pawar himself came under a cloud when a purported shady element, Asif Mohammed Iqbal Shaikh, alias Asif Dadhi, allegedly having links with the banned SIMI terror outfit, called on him.

“How can people expect law and order from rulers who entertain goons?” demanded Wadettiwar sharply, adding that the mafia is getting the full backing of the Mahayuti regime.

Raut said that gangsters are roaming around freely with the blessings of the state government, and asked “who is feeding them”.

The MVA’s hit-list came just a day after a worried group of ruling Shiv Sena Ministers called on Deputy CM Devendra Fadnavis and complained to him about the allegations hurled against the CM by a BJP MLA Ganpat Kalu Gaikwad.

The Kalyan East MLA Gaikwad is charged with shooting a Shiv Sena Kalyan chief Mahesh Gaekwad and his aide Rahul Patil inside the Hill Lines Police Station in Ulhasnagar on February 2, shocking the state and sparking a huge political row.

"Shinde is trying to establish a kingdom of goons in the state. He deceived Uddhav Thackeray, he will betray the BJP also. He owes me crores of rupees. Shinde should quit if Maharashtra has to be administered well. This is my humble plea to Fadnavis and Prime Minister Narendra Modi," Gaikwad blurted out before he was whisked off by the Thane Police, early on Saturday.

Rattled by the political ramifications of Gaikwad’s allegations, which the Shiv Sena has termed as ‘baseless and unwarranted’, the ministers sought Fadnavis’ action in the matter.

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