MNS corporator claims he was ‘lured’ to join Shiv Sena

Mumbai:¬†Adding a new twist to the defection of six municipal corporators, a Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) corporator, Sanjay R. Turde, on Thursday claimed he was also “lured” to join the Shiv Sena last week.

The MNS Corporator from Kurla ward said he was offered the lure of lucre indirectly through a party colleague who assured “the Shiv Sena will give a big boost to your career”.

“I have submitted a written complaint to the Maharashtra Anti-Corruption Bureau seeking a probe into the matter,” Turde told IANS.

“It happened on the evening of October 12 when I was taken aside and informed about the offer to defect to Shiv Sena. They told me it would be a good political career move for me,” Turde said.

However, Turde said he rejected the offer on grounds that MNS President Raj Thackeray had given them a lot and he could not backstab him.

“I told them that I was interested in boosting my career but on my own strength, merit and service to people and party, not by indulging in such political games,” Turde added.

Turde’s complaint comes six days after Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MP from Mumbai, Kirit Somaiya, wrote to the Enforcement Directorate Joint Director Satyavrat Kumar seeking action against “corruption, money-laundering, anti-democratic activities and other malpractices” indulged in by Shiv Sena which engineered the defection of six MNS corporators to its fold.

Mumbai’s Jai Ho Foundation shot off a letter to the Maharashtra Lokayukta demanding a probe into the incident following revelations by MNS chief Raj Thackeray that the defectors from his party were paid Rs 5 crore each.

On its part, the MNS has also written to the Konkan Development Commissioner, asking that the defectors should not be recognised as a “separate group” in the BrihanMumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) till the entire issue was investigated.

A week ago, Raj Thackeray attacked his estranged cousin and Shiv Sena President Uddhav Thackeray, accusing him of playing “neech” (low level) politics and “horse-trading” by buying out MNS corporators to boost the Sena numbers in the 227-strong BMC.

On October 13, Uddhav Thackeray warmly welcomed the six MNS corporators into the party, terming it as “homecoming”, at his residence “Matoshri” in Bandra East.

They were – Archana S. Bhalerao, Harshala A. More, Ashwini A. Matekar, Parmeshwar T. Kadam, Dattaram S. Narvankar and Dilip B. Lande. They also sought permission of the Konkan Divisional Commissioner to be recognised as a separate group in the BMC.