Turncoats turn into victims of Opposition's jibes
Vikhe Patil's former party colleagues say he has been made the minister in-charge of a department (Housing) that he had accused of massive corruption when he was the Opposition leader in Assembly
With turncoats being given ministerial berths, Opposition members who raised slogans and displayed placards criticising the BJP and the defectors on the first day of the monsoon session escalated their jibes against their former party colleagues, who till the last session shared benches with them.
Of the prominent turncoats, Radhakrishna Vikhe Patil (ex-Congress) and Jaidutt Kshirsagar (ex-NCP) were inducted as ministers a day before the Monsoon session started. Patil (now in BJP) has been made the minister of Housing and Kshirsagar (now in Shiv Sena) has been given the charge of employment guarantee.
The jibe that has been directed against Patil is that he was made the minister in charge of a department that he had accused of massive corruption when he was the Opposition leader in Assembly. Patil had accused that there was corruption worth Rs 10,000 crore in Mumbai's development plan, a direct allegation against Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis.
Nationalist Congress Party's Ajit Pawar in the Assembly and Opposition leader in Upper House Dhananjay Munde took a dig at both the leaders while debating the governor's speech.
Pawar asked whether six ministers were dropped because of corruption, and why certain people, who were part of NCP, were inducted. He wanted the CM to come clean in the matter.
Meanwhile, Kshirsagar confronted Pawar by saying that he (Pawar) was responsible for his exit from NCP. "Please don't have any grudge against me. I got the Cabinet post only because of you," the minister said in a sarcastic tone. However, an undaunted Pawar asked some senior Sena members in the House, why they were ignored despite being loyal and capable of working in the minister's office.
The scene in the Upper House was no different. Munde sympathised with Eknath Khadse and Prakash Mehta (who was sacked on Sunday). He questioned Kshirsagar's (his fellow politician from Beed district) defection. "Why has Kshirsagar been made employment guarantee minister? Didn't he have any work in my party NCP?" he joked.
Then Munde aimed his jibes at Sena's Tanaji Sawant (new minister) and others like Anil Parab (Sena) and Bhai Girkar (BJP), who were allegedly denied ministerial berths by their parties for turncoats. "Why? Isn't Parab loyal, able and an administrator? Why is Bhai (Girkar) ignored? I know what happens on your side because I was there once (Munde was in BJP before joining NCP)," he said.
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