Two senior leaders, Ramdas Kadam and Gajanan Kirtikar, of the Chief Minister Eknath Shinde-led Shiv Sena, locked horns over the candidature of the Mumbai North West Lok Sabha constituency, which Kirtikar represents in the Lower House. While Kirtikar has made a claim on the Mumbai North West Lok Sabha seat since he is the sitting MP, Ramdas Kadam is trying hard for a candidacy for his son Siddhesh from the same constituency.
Speculation is widespread in the political circle that to counter Gajanan Kirtikar during the 2024 Lok Sabha election, the Sena (UBT) is likely to field his son Amol against him and the battle would be between the father and son. Gajanan Kritikar’s son Amol is still with rival Shiv Sena (Uddhav Balasaheb Thackeray) and Father switched his loyalties to Eknath Shinde Sena. Kadam has asked if Kirtikar is going to contest elections to win the seat or help his Amol, who is also likely to contest polls on the ticket of Uddhav Thackeray’s Sena.
Meanwhile, the open tiff between the two senior Shinde-led Sena leaders over the Mumbai North West Lok Sabha seat candidature has come as a major awkwardness for CM Eknath Shinde, who is trying to keep his flock together and show a united front against his rival Uddhav Thackeray. The dispute started a couple of weeks ago after Kirtikar, 80, said he was tired and would not contest the upcoming Lok Sabha elections.
Ramdad Kadam said, “If Kirtikar is not contesting the upcoming Lok Sabha polls, my other son, Siddhesh Kadam, is willing to contest the election from this constituency”. However, Kirtikar replied to Kadam’s remarks, asserting that he is mentally and physically fit and will contest the upcoming elections. Kadam alleged, “Kiritikar’s son Amol is in the Sena (UBT) but even though the father and son are in different parties, they are working from the same office”. Kadam also alleged that Kirtikar was betraying the Shinde Sena and was making all efforts to get his son Amol elected.
Kirtikar, in a letter, addressed Kadam’s allegations and wrote, “Kadam has expressed his doubt that I am betraying the party, but Kadam’s history of betrayal is old and there is a long list of the betrayals by him”. “He had previously made many attempts to defeat me in the 1990 polls. Kadam had rallied workers for the defeat of his brother. All Shiv Sainiks are aware of the journey he took with Sharad Pawar from Khed village to Pune to join the NCP. Hence, Kadam should not talk about betrayal”.