There was intense speculation on Sunday over disgruntled BJP leader Eknath Khadse’s decision to cut off ties with the party. Media reports and Khadse’s interaction with NCP leaders, including Home Minister Anil Deshmukh in Jalgaon last week, forced state BJP president Chandrakant Patil to make a statement that he was hopeful that the senior leader would not leave the party.
“I am confident that Eknath Khadse, who is our senior leader, will remain with the BJP. Anyone resigning from the party sends his resignation to me, as I am the president of the party in the state. I have not received the resignation of any senior or junior leader,” he told mediapersons.
“Moreover, I am confident that Eknath Khadse will not do any such thing,” he added.
Khadse has been disgruntled with the BJP after he was forced to resign as a minister in 2016 on corruption charges. He was subsequently denied a ticket in the 2019 Assembly elections. His daughter Rohini Khadse contested from Muktainagar, which he had represented in the past. Rohini lost the elections.
In the recent past, Khadse had targeted former chief minister and BJP MLA Devendra Fadnavis, accusing him for ruining his political career. He had accused Fadnavis of plotting against him, as he was a “strong contender to be the first OBC CM candidate” of BJP.
An unhappy Khadse has been expressing his disappointment in public. He had also indicated that he had received offers to join ruling Shiv Sena, NCP and Congress. Last week, he did not attend a function in Jalgaon in which Fadnavis was present but took out time to meet Deshmukh.
Khadse, however, told mediapersons on Sunday: “I have not resigned from BJP.” He refused to divulge his future plans.
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