Nikhil,the only son of Leader of Opposition in the Maharashtra Legislative Assembly and Jalgaon MLA Eknath Khadse,committed suicide Wednesday afternoon. He is survived by wife Raksha and two sons.
Nikhil shot himself in the head with his licenced revolver at about 4.15 pm in his bedroom at their bungalow Muktai in Kothadi village in Muktainagar taluka of Jalgaon district.
The engineering graduate was depressed for the past few years after losing the Maharashtra Legislative Council elections in 2010. In spite of his fathers best efforts,Nikhil was defeated by a candidate backed by Suresh Jain of Shiv Sena. His attempt to get elected as an MLC had caused major fissures between BJP and Sena.
There are also reports that Nikhil had become an alcoholic after his defeat and had been to a rehabilitation centre about a month back. He had allegedly been confined to his house by his family following the rehabilitation.
He was rushed to Godavari Hospital in Jalgaon town. He died at around 6 pm. Eknath Khadse was at a wedding in Muktainagar taluka itself at that time while Nikhils mother and wife were present in the house when he shot himself, said Superintendent of Police,Jalgaon,S Jaykumar. He said only autopsy would reveal whether Nikhil was drunk when he pulled the trigger.
In 2011,Nikhil had misplaced the same .32 bore Lama revolver that he used to kill himself,having left it in a changing room of a mall in Thane. The Thane police had to work overtime to retrieve the weapon for him.
In November 2010,Nikhil had lost the Legislative Council elections by a narrow margin to independent candidate Manish Jain who got tacit support from Jalgaon strongman and Shiv Sena leader Suresh Jain. Nikhil lost by a narrow margin of 16 votes,managing to bag 228 votes as against 244 votes garnered by Jain for the MLC seat from Jalgaon local self governing bodies.
Eknath Khadse,who is an MLA from Muktai Nagar in Jalgaon district,had fielded his son in the elections in Jalgaon. However,Khadses decision to field his son was met with opposition by local Sena leaders,particularly from Suresh Jain. Jain and the local Sena cadre meanwhile decided to throw their weight behind Manish Jain,who is the son of NCP Rajya Sabha MP and close Sharad Pawar ally Ishwarlal Jain.
A source said this particular election had proved very costly for BJP as it had spent close to Rs 200 crore on it. Nikhil was the ZP member from Changdev at that time and had aspirations of becoming an MLA,but his wife Raksha started gaining prominence. In the last ZP elections,she was given the chance to contest from Changdev. She won and was made chairman of the education and health committees, said the source.
Nikhils funeral will take place at 10 am Thursday.