The BJP central leadership has refused to meet former Maharashtra minister Eknath Khadse, who was asked to resign following allegations of corruption in a land deal. Both the PMO and BJP chief Amit Shah’s office turned down Khadse’s request for an appointment. Efforts to meet other BJP leaders proved futile as well.
Khadse left for Delhi Thursday and returned to Mumbai Friday.
A BJP functionary said, “There was no question of Modi giving an appointment to Khadse. He returned from a successful five-nation tour Friday. The PMO has to tackle more important issues as he was away for five days.” Shah, he said, has a busy schedule ahead. Moreover, the BJP leadership does not want to discuss the matter at the moment, he added.
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Underplaying his Delhi visit, Khadse said, “I went to Delhi for some family-related matters. It was a short visit.”
Khadse’s sudden trip to Delhi has raised eyebrows within the party. A state BJP leader said, “It needs to be understood that the decision to seek his resignation was taken by central leadership. Modi and Shah are well versed with the land deal controversy and charges of his telephonic conversations with underworld don Dawood Ibrahim.”
Sensing the central leadership’s role, MLAs and MPs from north Maharashtra have not rallied around Khadse. A senior MP said, “On matters of corruption, we cannot come out in the open and extend our solidarity. Also, how can we defy the decision taken by our high command.”