Former Maharashtra minister Eknath Khadse, who quit the Devendra Fadnavis ministry after a series of allegations, has today, in a veiled attack, targeted the BJP leaders for nominating Chandu Patel for the upcoming Legislative Council elections. Khadse’s close aide, Gurumukh Jagwani, a sitting legislator, has been denied BJP ticket for the November 19 polls from the Jalgaon local body, which the latter now represents.
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“Till now, an active member used to be given party nomination for polls. Chandu Patel is a builder by profession and was never an active (BJP) member. The party has set a new precedent,” Khadse told PTI. “There was a demand that the Sindhi community (to which Jagwani belongs), should be given a representation. That is why, there was a demand to field Jagwani,” he said.
Asked if his remarks were directed against any specific party leader, Khadse said, “I will abide by the party decision.” BJP has nominated Chandu Patel, a builder, considered close to Khadse’s arch rival Girish Mahajan, the Water Resources Minister in the Fadnavis government.
The electoral college for the polls, comprising elected representatives from Jalgaon municipality and the local zilla parishads and panchayat samitis, has 550 voters, with BJP enjoying a comfortable majority. Legislative Council elections from five other local bodies, including Yavatmal, Sangli-Satara, Pune, Nanded, and Gondia-Bhandara are also scheduled to take place on November 19.