June 1, 2021 8:18:52 pm
Opposition leader Devendra Fadnavis on Tuesday visited NCP leader Eknath Khadse’s residence during his Jalgaon district tour.
Khadse and his daughter Rohini were in Mumbai at the time. Khadse’s daughter-in-law Raksha Khadse, a BJP MP, hosted Fadnavis and party colleague Girish Mahajan for tea.
Fadnavis’s visit comes a day after he met NCP president Sharad Pawar on Monday.
Both BJP and NCP on Tuesday maintained that Fadnavis’s meeting with Pawar and Khadse were apolitical.
Khadse told The Indian Express, “We always welcome guests at home. I was in Mumbai. My daughter-in law asked them to have lunch but they declined. So tea was served. We may belong to different parties and work as rivals. But if somebody comes home, we serve them.”
He dismissed speculation about the BJP making efforts to build bridges with him or his family.
Khadse, once a senior state BJP leader, had quit the party to join NCP. Khadse had then blamed Fadnavis for sidelining him.
During his day-long visit in Jalgaon, Fadnavis toured Raver and Muktainagar talukas. He visited the district hospital to review the Covid-19 situation, and interacted with farmers in banana plantation fields.
Fadnavis said, “The unseasonal rain and hailstorm has damaged the banana plantation across the district. Farmers have incurred huge financial losses. The CM and Deputy CM should provide Rs 50,000 per hectare compensation to the farmers.”
The BJP suffered a jolt in the Jalgaon Municipal Corporation last month after its corporators defected to the Shiv Sena.
Earlier, NCP minister Nawab Malik said, “The Pawar-Fadnavis meeting was just a courtesy call. Pawar was hospitalised and had surgery. Several leaders across party lines have come and greeted him. Fadnavis enquired about Pawar’s well-being and health.”
However, Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut said, “I can state with certainty that Pawar must have advised Fadnavis on how to become a good opposition leader. Pawar was a good opposition leader himself and would have shared his experience.”
He added, “The opposition is creating a ruckus daily. If they do this, they will never return to power in Maharashtra for 100 years. Pawar must have said that to the opposition leader.”
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