If the allegations of scams, bogus degrees and connections with a tainted cricket administrator weren’t enough to embarrass his party, a BJP Mumbai legislator has landed the ruling dispensation in further trouble. Colaba MLA Raj Purohit has allegedly charged the party high command of taking bribes from a rival legislator for denying him a Cabinet berth in the state.
Also read: Raj Purohit's office under scanner
In the same clip, Raj Purohit allegedly calls Raj Thackeray a “bogus leader.” In protest, MNS workers attacked the BJP MLA’s office in Kalbadevi on Friday afternoon. They reportedly damaged some office furniture. Pic/Suresh KK
A video featuring Purohit, which has him slamming PM Narendra Modi, party president Amit Shah and CM Devendra Fadnavis has appeared on television news channels and social media.
In the widely circulated film, Purohit allegedly says the party is run only by Modi and Shah, and alleges that the BJP lacks collective leadership. He adds that Modi’s policies are contradictory and have upset businessmen a great deal.
Purohit has accused the party high command of accepting money from BJP’s Malabar Hill legislator Mangal Prabhat Lodha, for denying him a minister’s post in the Fadnavis government. The builder lobby is not happy because BJP MLA Mangal Prabhat Lodha influences the government policy by using his money power, he says, terming Lodha as a goonda who has given money to all for getting his work done.
In yet another allegation, he says that Lodha has made a big fortune using the money the late Pramod Mahajan had left with him.
“Half the nation’s economy is run with black money. I know the concerns of businessmen because I interact with the country’s top corporates regularly,” he tells the other person in the film. “What is going on?” he asks about Modi’s governance, advising the PM to not see bad elements everywhere.
He also slams the provision of a harsh jail sentence for money laundering. “Is this a homicide? They don’t deserve a 10-year jail term (for such a crime),” Purohit says.
State BJP president Raosaheb Danve told mid-day that he would comment on the issue only after seeing the video. Lodha left the decision to the party’s high command. “I don’t want to comment on this. Let my party decide,” he told mid-day.
Purohit, on the other hand, demanded a forensic test of the video. “It’s not my voice in the film. This is a conspiracy to damage my political career. I have never spoken against my party leaders,” he said in a statement on Friday.
>> There are two power centres in the BJP – Narendra Modi and Amit Shah. There is no collective leadership
>> PM Narendra Modi’s policies are contradictory and have upset the business in great deal
>> The builder lobby is not happy because BJP MLA Mangal Prabhat Lodha influences the policy by using his money power. Lodha has made a fortune with the money the late Pramod Mahajan had left with him
>> Senior BJP leaders are up for sale, and, hence, they’ve not made me a minister, because Lodha has bought them so that they don’t approve my name as minister — though I’m senior-most after Eknath Khadse.
(Statements from the video)