Maharashtra Navnirman Sena President Raj Thackeray on Sunday accused the Shiv Sena of paying the six corporators, who defected to the rival party on Friday, Rs 5 crore each. He criticised his cousin, Shiv Sena President Uddhav Thackeray, for his dirty politics and claimed he had known about their intentions for a month, The Times of India reported.

“These corporators have been purchased, and it is being said that Rs 5 crore was given to each one of them,” the MNS chief said. “This means almost a deal of Rs 30 crore. But if these people had put themselves out for sale in the market, what could anyone do? Their minds were corrupted anyway.”

Raj Thackeray said he would have readily sought help from his corporators had his cousin approached him. “In the past, too, I have always helped them directly and indirectly,” he was quoted as saying by DNA. “But this incident of buying out my corporators has not gone well with me...I will teach them a lesson.”

With these six defections, the Shiv Sena now has 90 councillors in the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation and the MNS is down to one. The Bharatiya Janata Party has 82 corporators in Mumbai’s civic body. “The BJP must have realised our strength now after seeing what can we do in one day,” Uddhav Thackeray had said after the news was announced.

Dilip Lande, Archana Bhalerao, Snehal More, Datta Narvankar, Parashuram Kadam and Ashwini Matekar were the MNS corporators who joined the Shiv Sena. “We joined the Sena for the welfare of the Marathi people,” Lande said, adding that the BJP wanted to remove the Marathi mayor from the post.