Former Minister of State for Agriculture Sadabhau Khot has decided to float his own political party, which is likely to fight elections in the near future. Khot, who was speaking to The Indian Express, said his party will contest elections in alliance with the BJP.
After his expulsion from the Swabhimani Shetkari Sanghtana, led by former MP and farmers’ leader Raju Shetti, Khot had floated an apolitical organisation by the name of Rayat Kranti Sanghtana. Khot, who had continued being a minister in the Devendra Fadnavis government, had played an important part in the defeat of Shetti in the Lok Sabha elections last year.
While the Rayat Kranti Sanghtana was a separate organisation, Khot’s supporters had fought elections on the BJP’s symbol. Asked about the need to form a separate party, Khot said his party will give opportunities to those who wish to work for the downtrodden sections of society. “Our party will work on rural and agrarian issues,” he said. The party, whose name and other details are yet to be decided, will continue its alliance with the BJP.
“Earlier, our supporters had fought on the BJP symbol but now we will contest as alliance partners,” he said.
The former minister said the name and other details of his new outfit would be revealed within a month or so. A product of the farmers’ movement, which had seen Shetti winning twice from the Hatkanangale Lok Sabha constituency in Kolhapur district, Khot was once the second-most important leader in the farmer’s outfit.
After the swearing-in of Fadnavis, Khot got a minister of state portfolio in accordance with the understanding between the Sanghtana and the BJP.
In 2014,Khot had narrowly lost to NCP’s Vijaysinh Mohite Patil from the Madha constituency in Solapur. In a strange turn of events, while Shetti had warmed up to his political foes NCP and the Congress, both Khot and Mohite Patil are now with the BJP.
In the 2019 Assembly elections, Khot’s party got two seats. The former minister, who is still a Member of the Legislative Council, has started work on the party and is touring the state to gain a political foothold.
📣 The Indian Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@indianexpress) and stay updated with the latest headlines