After mid-day reported that it would induct the ‘tainted’ ex-MLA from MNS, Pravin Darekar, state BJP president Raosaheb Danve said the leader, whom the BJP took into its fold yesterday, would be expelled if charges against him were proved.
Raosaheb Danve denied reporters the opportunity to ask questions of Pravin Darekar and the three other new entrants
Darekar faced corruption charges from none other than the then opposition leader and now education minister in the BJP government, Vinod Tawde. Other than Darekar, two other ex-MLAs from MNS Vasant Gite (Nashik) and Ramesh Patil (Kalyan Rural) joined the BJP.
mid-day’s report yesterday
Another ex-MLA, Kashinath Mengal, who has changed two parties in the past five years – he left the Shiv Sena to get into the NCP and then MNS – also made the BJP his new home. Defending Darekar’s entry at a press conference announcing the formal induction of the four leaders, Danve said, “Any leader is deemed innocent until allegations against him/her are proved. We will expel the leader (Darekar) if charges against him are proved.”
In the run-up to the October Assembly polls, Tawde had alleged that the board of the Mumbai District Central Cooperative Bank had appointed directors and employees illegally, causing losses to the tune of R412 crore.
Tawde had said that though a cooperation department officer, Subhash Patil, had recommended criminal action against the bank’s directors and officials responsible, the Congress-NCP government had not taken any steps.
Darekar had then accused the BJP of seeking revenge because his bank had filed police complaints against some BJP leaders, who did not service loans. He had said that he had refused Tawde’s request for helping the defaulters from the BJP.
Darekar had told mid-day on Monday that he was in the clear and allegations made against him were false. “The BJP leadership is convinced and, hence, they are inducting me. A probe is done and the bank has submitted its reply to the government recently. The government is satisfied with our reply and had cleared us of all allegations,” he had stated.
Surprisingly, Danve did not allow Darekar or any of the other new entrants to field questions from the media yesterday. “I’m holding this media conference and I alone will give you answers,” he said, before closing the conversation, which was frequently interrupted by a ruckus created by the supporters of the former MNS men.