A day after former Maharashtra minister Eknath Khadse resigned from the party, the Maharashtra BJP on Thursday signalled that it had turned the page on the veteran leader.
With Khadse set to join the NCP, the BJP said it would hold a meeting of party leaders shortly to draw up strategy to consolidate its organisational base in North Maharashtra, a BJP stronghold.
“Whether it is the Centre or state or district unit, the emphasis is on developing new and younger leadership. And the party is confident of finding a suitable replacement in Muktainagar, which was the electoral turf and constituency of Khadse,” said a BJP source.
State BJP president Chandrakant Patil is to hold a meeting of the state unit after the Bihar Assembly elections as former chief minister and Opposition leader Devendra Fadnavis, who is Bihar poll in-charge, is busy campaigning, sources said. Newly appointed secretary and former minister Vinod Tawde is also in Bihar for poll campaigning.
Senior leader and former minister Sudhir Mungantiwar said, “We have to look for answers within. And where necessary take corrective measures.” But he disagreed with Khadse holding Fadnavis responsible for his exit. Mungantiwar, who is part of the core committee, said, “A cadre-based party always takes collective decisions. There is always a central team for checks and balances.”
While acknowledging that the party will have to confront new challenges, former minister and leader from Jalgaon Girish Mahajan said, “We will have to cope with short term damage. But in the long term it will not make any impact.”
A senior BJP functionary, requesting anonymity, said, “In 2018, at least three senior leaders — Fadnavis, Mungantiwar and Patil — had taken a collective decision to reinstate Khadse in the cabinet with agriculture portfolio. When the matter was taken up with the central leadership they were told to keep it on hold.” BJP insiders maintain Khadse has to explain why central leaders were upset with him.
Political managers in the BJP said, “If Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Home Minister Amit Shah had not reconciled with Khadse it shows there were larger issues…”
BJP general secretary Shrikant Bharatiya said the party allows individuals to express their views provided it is at an appropriate forum. If one violates rules, the party refuse to take cognizance, he said, adding that every worker is important and equal.
📣 The Indian Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@indianexpress) and stay updated with the latest headlines