Mumbai, Oct 21 (PTI) Simmering since his unceremonious
exit from the Devendra Fadnavis-led ministry in 2016, senior
Maharashtra BJP leader Eknath Khadse on Wednesday quit the
party and will join the Sharad Pawar-led NCP later this week.
Speaking to reporters, Khadse blamed Fadnavis for
“destroying his life” and his political career, over three
decades of it spent in strengthening the BJP in Maharashtra.
NCP minister Jayant Patil said Khadse will join the
NCP on Friday, ending prolonged speculation over the latter”s
next political move.
Khadse has been sulking after he had to resign from
the Fadnavis-led ministry in 2016 over corruption allegations.
Patil, who is also the state NCP chief, said with the
joining of a seasoned leader like Khadse, who was also former
leader of opposition in the state Assembly, the NCP will be
strengthened, particularly in north Maharashtra”s Khandesh
region, from where Khadse hails.
The seniormost minister in the Fadnavis ministry,
Khadse resigned as revenue minister in 2016 over land grab
allegations, and was since then largely sidelined in the BJP.
Patil claimed “a lot of people” want to join the NCP.
“As per my information, a lot of MLAs are in touch with him,”
the minister said.
He said he is sure the BJP will introspect as to why a
senior leader like Khadse quit the party.
Asked about the role Khadse will be given in the NCP,
Patil said, “The party will take a decision about it…he has
consented to work under the leadership of Pawar saheb.”
Eknath Khadse”s daughter-in-law Raksha Khadse is BJP”s
Lok Sabha member from Raver seat in north Maharashtra.
Khadse lashed out at Fadnavis after quitting the BJP
and claimed that the former chief minister instructed the
police to implicate him in a fake harassment case.
Talking about how he “suffered” in the BJP, Khadse
said, “The then CM (Fadnavis) instructed police to register
FIR against me on false allegation of harassment by a woman.
He said the case would be withdrawn later. Inquiries for
corruption was initiated against me in which I came clean.”
Khadse said Fadnavis tried to destroy his (political)
Fadnavis has not yet commented on the charges levelled
by Khadse against him.
Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray said the
BJP should think why are its foundation stones coming off when
it is reaching the pinnacle of success.
Thackeray said Khadse is “definitely welcome” to the
family of the ruling Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) comprising the
Shiv Sena, NCP and Congress.
Thackeray said Khadse is among the leaders who
expanded the BJP”s base in parts of the state along with
Pramod Mahajan aind Gopinath Munde.
Khadse has a separate identity, is a fighter and a
straight-forward leader, the Shiv Sena president said.
“We (Shiv Sena) left the NDA, the Shiromani Akali Dal
also left the alliance recently. Now Khadse is also not with
the BJP. Hence, the BJP should think about it. Being an old
friend of the BJP, it is my duty to alert them,” he said.
Terming Khadse”s decision to quit the BJP unfortunate,
Union minister Raosaheb Danve said the issues he had could
have been resolved with time.
“Due to some reasons, he was away from the main flow
of politics, but that doesn”t mean Khadse should leave the
BJP. This is unfortunate,” Danve said.
“The party has received Khadse”s resignation. We tried
to dissuade him, but our efforts were in vain. We wish good
luck for his political future,” state BJP”s chief spokesperson
Keshav Upadhye said.
When asked about the future of Raksha Khadse in BJP,
he said she has maintained that she will continue with the BJP
and “we have no issues with it.”
Many BJP leaders in Maharashtra expressed shock and
disappointment over Khadse”s decision to quit the party.
BJP”s state unit chief Chandrakant Patil said, “We
were hopeful that Khadse would stay with the party, until I
received his resignation today.”
“We were optimistic about finding a solution through
dialogue and move ahead irrespective of his disappointment
with some leaders…I wish him good luck for his future
journey,” he said.
BJP”s former state unit chief Sudhir Mungantiwar said
the party needs to think about why Khadse decided to quit.
“Khadse”s decision to leave the party has come as a
major shock to the BJP”s state unit. He had worked for the
growth of the party for several years. I think the party needs
to think why such a senior leader decided to quit,”” he said.
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Disclaimer :- This story has not been edited by Outlook staff and is auto-generated from news agency feeds. Source: PTI