In 2010, when the Adarsh housing scam was unearthed, the Opposition demanded then Chief Minister Ashok Chavan’s head, who finally resigned because some of his relatives owned flats in the controversial building.
But today, the same Opposition, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), is quietly watching as a certain functionary, who professedly has a house in Adarsh housing society, climbs up the party ranks. We are talking about Siddharth Gamre, who was recently promoted to the post of BJP’s South Mumbai district president.
Just last week, BJP’s Mumbai unit recently appointed Ashish Shelar as its president and announced his team. It included Gamre as party president of South Mumbai, despite opposition from locals. Gamre, considered to be close to the sitting MLA from Malabar Hill, Mangalprabhat Lodha, owns a flat in Adarsh building.
When contacted, Gamre confirmed that he has a flat in the controversial building and hung up soon after, before we could quiz him further. “Yes, I have a flat in Adarsh, but that has got nothing to do with this. I am in a meeting now. We’ll talk later.”
Prior to the prickly question that we posed about the house, though, he spoke to us at length about why he got elevated. “It’s my work that the leaders have seen and that is why I got promoted to the post of president,” he said among other things.
Asked if he was close to MLA Lodha, he said, “Everyone is close to him.” According to a party insider from South Mumbai, “Of the nearly 15 members in BJP South Mumbai district, 12 suggested the name of Sanjiv Patel for the post of district president, while three suggested Gamre’s name. Last week, Gamre was declared president.”
BJP state president Devendra Fadnavis and party’s Mumbai chief Shelar could not be reached for comment.