Mumbai: MoS Sadashiv Khot to be booted out of Swabhimani Shetkari Sanghatana?
Sadashiv Khot, who was drafted as a minister of state from Swabhimani Shetkari Sanghatana last year, is counting down the moments to what he sees as an inevitability. He is nearly certain that he would be expelled for "anti-party activities".
Khot, a junior minister of agriculture, was inducted in the Devendra Fadnavis team in July last year and then given a membership of the upper house from the BJP quota. However, over the past six months, he has not been on good terms with his party president and Lok Sabha MP, Raju Shetti, who has taken an anti-BJP stand over farmers' issues.
"It seems that my party has already decided to sack me. But, my leaders want to make it (the sacking procedure) look democratic so that they are not further shamed by my supporters," he told mid-day on Wednesday.
Earlier in the day, Shetti constituted a panel to seek an explanation from Khot. He said the minister would be asked to make his case before any action is initiated. But Khot said he was sure of what's in store for him.
Khot has been Shetti's lieutenant for years. The two had led several farmers' agitations, but after being joining the council of ministers, Khot worked more like a minister than an activist.
"They expect me to speak [against the government] like the Sena ministers, but I'm not like the others. I cannot copy others. I have been working towards the farmers' causes using my minister's office," he said. In Khot's defence, he took part in one of the marches his party held against the government.
Khot began distancing himself from Shetti when the latter opposed his son's candidature in the zilla panchayat elections. Khot's supporters alleged that Shetti ensured the defeat of their leader's son.
On to BJP next?
Asked if he would lead the farmers' wing in the BJP, the minister just smiled.
BJP sources said Khot would be officially inducted in the party if he is sacked or given an option to float his own farmers' wing. "What the BJP wants is to weaken allies by splitting them. And I think Khot's departure from Shetti's unit will serve our purpose well," said a senior BJP leader.