Navi Mumbai, Mar 8 (PTI) Ahead of the Navi Mumbai Municipal Corporation (NMMC) polls, Maharashtra Housing Minister and NCP leader Jitendra Awhad on Sunday launched a frontal attack on local strongman and former party colleague Ganesh Naik, terming the latter as 'blot on democracy'.
He also accused the BJP MLA of backing extortionists.
Awhad said the Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) of the NCP, Shiv Sena and Congress will end Naik's rule in the NMMC when the elections will be held there next month.
Former Maharashtra minister Naik trashed Awhad's charges and also said that the latter was not worth the challenge.
Addressing an event of the NCP's youth wing, party leader Awhad said, 'Who has the sand contracts (in Navi Mumbai)? Who has the gravel contracts? Who has the building contracts? Should give answer? It is Ganesh Naik with whose blessing extortion goes on in Navi Mumbai.' Naik does not allow any other person to grow in Navi Mumbai as he accused the BJP leader of encouraging dynastic rule, the minister said 'He is a blot on democracy,' Awhad alleged.
Taking a dig at Naik, Awhad also said the BJP MLA from Airoli should be named as the 'ambassador of coronavirus', as he uses sanitiser or camphor to clean his hands after every handshake.
'He does not respect his followers...he forgot (late Shiv Sena founder) Balasaheb Thackeray when he was in the Shiv Sena and now (NCP chief Sharad) Pawar saheb,' Awhad said.
Naik quit the Pawar-led party ahead of the Assembly election last year to join the BJP. He was also with the Sena before joining the NCP.
Countering Awhad, Naik said the NCP leader knows his speech would be paid attention to in Navi Mumbai only if his name is taken.
'There is a commercial of Nana Patekar in which someone calls him an old man and challenges for arm wrestling.
Then Patekar retorts the person saying that the latter is not worth the challenge and asks him (the challenger) to send his father instead (for arm wrestling).
'Similarly, he (Awhad) is not worth the challenge. And if the father asks for name, he should tell it is Ganesh Naik,' Naik told reporters. PTI ENM NSK NSK