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Ramdas Kadam: Friends with Betrayers?

Kadam softens his stand against BJP after Shiv Sena joins the state government.

Ramdas-Kadam-LeadShiv Sena leader Ramdas Kadam who had initially criticised the BJP for calling off the 25 year old alliance with Sena has taken a U turn after the cabinet expansion ceremony. Kadam who has been made in charge of the Environment portfolio had earlier taken jibe against BJP for playing the waiting game over the seat sharing issue. The BJP had then taken the support of NCP to form a government in Maharashtra a stand which had not gone down well with Sena.

It was during this time, Ramdas Kadam and Shiv Sena president Uddhav Thackeray used to make anti-BJP statements. However, after the cabinet expansion the deadlock over seat sharing issue has been resolved after Sena was allotted 10 ministries. The Shiv Sena which had been demanding the post of the deputy chief minister and crucial Home Ministry had toned down the demand and has accepted other ministerial posts. It was necessary for Sena to join the BJP led government to avert the possibility of the split within the party as some legislators were keen to join the government.

Kadam had earlier accused BJP of fooling his party by purposefully dragging on power sharing deliberations. He also alleged that BJP leader Eknath Khadse, who is the Revenue Minister, was trying hard to “topple” the Fadnavis government as he was not made the chief minister of the state. Kadam had said that BJP was playing the tactics in a bid to shield itself from Sena’s wrath in the upcoming Winter Session of the state Legislature. He had blamed the BJP for trying to tone done Sena’s aggression by holding inconclusive meetings. The Sena leader even accused the BJP of cheating the Sena by talking about Cabinet expansion.

Even Shiv Sena President Uddhav Thackeray had accused the BJP of betraying his party. Thackeray had mentioned that BJP and not Congress-NCP as Shiv Sena’s enemy. The Sena, in its mouthpiece Saamana had termed BJP as “power hungry.” Uddhav had compared BJP with Afzal Khan by attempting to conquer the state.

The Shiv Sena formally joined the BJP government in the state as its 10 ministers, five of cabinet rank and five of minister of state had taken oath. BJP nonetheless denied crucial post like Deputy Chief Minister and Home portfolio to Sena.

Sena’s support of 63 MLAs is crucial for BJP which has 121 MLA’s in 288-member House to cobble up the magic figure of 145 to have a simple majority.

The two parties split on September 15, just three weeks before the Maharashtra Assembly elections which threw up a fractured verdict in the 288-member legislature last month.

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