The Raigad Lok Sabha seat has turned into a mini war zone for the Shiv Sena after former leader of opposition in the Legislative Assembly Ramdas Kadam said that he would not campaign for the party in the constituency where the Sena has fielded its five-time MP Anant Geete.
Such has been the animosity between Kadam and Geete that the former had indicated much in advance that he would not campaign in Raigad if Geete is the candidate.
Even after his candidature was declared, Kadam told in private that he will not campaign for the candidate and that he had requested the Sena leadership to exempt him from campaigining in the constituency.
Recently, Kadam told media persons that he was defeated in Guhagar assembly constituency by Geete without taking names. This did not end here, Geete returned fire and stated in a public meeting that some traitors of the party are trying to defeat him.
When contacted Kadam said "The last time I contested elections from the Guhagar assembly constituency, Vinay Natu rebelled and contested the elections against me. In fact, Geete enjoyed close relations with Natu and he had encouraged him to contest against me. I requested him to convince Natu not to contest, but he refused. Geete even fielded a Kunbi candidate against me and ensured that leaflets were distributed against me," said Kadam.
Kadam said, "I have requested and appealed to Uddhav saheb to understand my sentiments and not ask me to campaign in Raigad. I am asked by the party to campaign across the state, but if the leadership directs me to campaign in Raigad, I will have to do it."
Anant Geete refused to comment on Kadam's statements and said there will be no impact of Kadam's refusal to campaign in this elections.
Shiv Sena Raigad district president Baban Patil said, "Kadam is our leader and it will not be appropriate for me to comment on him. He has already clarified that he has not made any such statements. Besides, Uddhav saheb will take a decision on this issue and make necessary directions. We will win with good margin."
Kadam on his way to NCP?
Speculations were rife that Kadam was on his way out and that he would be joining the NCP soon. Senior leaders of the NCP even hinted that the NCP will be netting a big catch from the Shiv Sena.
However, Kadam quashed the rumours and has told media persons that these were just rumours and that he had already informed the party leadership on the people behind the rumours. He even stated that he would remain in the party even as he was unhappy.