Senior BJP leader Eknath Khadse’s hopes of staging a comeback in the Maharashtra government appears to have been shelved forever. On Sunday, the cabinet saw the induction of 13 new faces. But Khadse failed to make it to the Cabinet.
The former BJP minister expressed his disappointment questioning the functioning of the party and those at the helm. Khadse said, “It is unfortunate… Radhakrishna Vikhe-Patil is being made minister. But senior BJP leaders, who have successfully contested elections for three to four terms, have been ignored. How will they feel?”
“There are many leaders from the Congress and NCP who are becoming ministers in the BJP government. But those who served the BJP for decades sincerely and brought electoral results are being sidelined,” he asserted. “It’s not about me. In any case I am not interested,” he added.
In June 2016, Khadse, who held important portfolios like revenue and agriculture, had to resign following charges of corruption in a Pune land deal. An inquiry commission was set up under retired Justice Dinkar Zhoting to probe the matter. The commission submitted its report to the government. But there was a PIL in court whose verdict is still awaited in the land deal.
A senior cabinet minister said, “…Khadse had indicated that he wished to return to the cabinet knowing this tenure was short-lived up to October 2019.”