A city chief of Chief Minister Eknath Shinde’s Shiv Sena was shot at by a BJP legislator last night near Mumbai, said police. Ganpat Gaikwad fired at Mahesh Gaikwad at a police station allegedly over a land dispute and has been arrested.
Ganpat Gaikwad represents the Kalyan East constituency in Kalyan, about 40 km from Mumbai. His party is in alliance with Mr Shinde’s Sena in the Maharashtra government.
Two people were injured in the firing, said Sudhakar Pathare, Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP).
The two sides had come to Hill Line police station in Ulhasnagar over a land dispute, but the MLA opened fire inside a senior inspector’s chamber during the heated talks. The Sena leader and another supporter injured in the firing were taken to a hospital immediately.
Five bullets have been taken out from his body, but he remains critical and on ventilator after his surgery last night.
Ganpat Gaikwad told a news channel that the issue was over a land that Mahesh Gaikwad had allegedly captured. He claimed he opened fire in self-defence since they were misbehaving with his son and that he has no regrets.
Chief Minister Eknath Shinde is trying to establish a “kingdom of criminals” in Maharashtra, he further alleged. “If Eknath Shinde is the chief minister, only criminals will be born in Maharashtra. He has made a good person like me a criminal today,” he said, claiming the Chief Minister’s son and Kalyan MP Shrikant Shinde puts up boards to grab credit for his works.
He claimed Eknath Shinde owes crores of money to him and he must resign if the state is to be well-managed.
The police have filed an attempt to murder case and arrested Ganpat Gaikwad and two others.
“Mahesh Gaikwad and Ganpat Gaikwad had some dispute. They had come to Hill Line police station to lodge a complaint, but Ganpat Gaikward opened fire at Mahesh Gaikwad and his associates during the talks. Two people were injured,” said DCP Pathare.
The Uddhav Thackeray faction of the Shiv Sena has slammed the government for failing to ensure law and order.
“A BJP MLA opened fire inside the police station and the person who was shot is close to the Chief Minister and a former corporator. Both their parties are in power, so should we understand that these people have no fear of the law? Both engines of the state government have failed,” said Uddhav faction spokesperson Anand Dubey.
The Shiv Sena had split in 2022 after Eknath Shinde revolted against then chief minister Uddhav Thackeray and formed government with the BJP’s help. The Election Commission had last year ruled in favour of Mr Shinde over the party’s legacy.