Senior BJP leader Eknath Khadse Saturday said he had submitted to the party leadership “evidence of anti-party activities” that led the defeat of his daughter and other BJP candidates in the October 21 Maharashtra Assembly polls. Khadse also issued a veiled warning to the BJP, saying he would look at other options if his “humiliation” continued.
Khadse met Maharashtra BJP chief Chandrakant Patil after a meeting of the party’s North Maharashtra core committee in Jalgaon.
Speaking to reporters later, he said over the years, he had been kept out of the core committee meetings and decision-making process of the state BJP.
“I am not God. I am a human being and have emotions. I don’t want to leave the party for whose growth I worked hard for more than four decades. I am still ready to work for the party,” the former minister said. “But If I continue to face the humiliation of being kept away from decision-making, I will have to think differently,” he added.
To a question about his statement that Other Backward Class (OBC) leaders in the BJP were being sidelined, Khadse said, “It is not me but party workers who feel so. OBC and Bahujan Samaj leaders have toiled hard, giving blood and sweat for the party’s growth.The party leadership should heed the sentiments of workers and take corrective action. I have been maligned and all kinds of inquiries were set up. If I am guilty, take action. But I have been deliberately maligned and insulted so that I am not in contention for any party job,” he alleged.
Khadse, who was the senior-most minister in the Devendra Fadnavis government that came to power in 2014, had to resign over allegations of irregularities in a land deal involving his family.
Speaking about his meeting with the state BJP chief, Khadse said he had submitted all details about “anti-party activities” that led to defeat of party candidates in north Maharashtra.
“He asked me not to go public with these details since they were internal issues. He assured me that he would take up the matter with party chief Amit Shah and working president JP Nadda,” Khadse said.
Patil later told reporters he had assured Khadse that action would be taken against those responsible for the defeat of party candidates.”If anyone is responsible, action would be taken,” the state BJP chief said.
Khadse also took potshots at his BJP rival from the region, Girish Mahajan. “Mahajan had said if Khadse had proof he should reveal details. I have submitted the information to the state party president. If he permits, I am ready to hold a press conference and disclose everything,” he said.
On Wednesday, Khadse had launched a veiled attack on Fadnavis for the party’s sub-par performance in the elections. Some party leaders were responsible for the defeat of his daughter Rohini from Jalgaon and former minister Pankaja Munde from Parli, he had claimed, seeking action.
Apart from Khadse, former ministers Vinod Tawde, Prakash Mehta and Chandrashekhar Bawankule had been denied tickets this time.
📣 The Indian Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@indianexpress) and stay updated with the latest headlines