State agriculture minister Sadashiv Khot
The Swabhimani Shetkari Sanghatana yesterday expelled minister of state for agriculture Sadashiv Khot.
He was booted out for anti-party activities by a panel of party leaders. The inquiry was instituted a month ago. Khot had told mid-day on June 29 that he was expecting harsh action.
As he was given a seat in the Upper House from the BJP quota, his future depends on what the ruling party decides. Khot told the media that he had left the decision to Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis and BJP, of which Swabhimani is an ally since 2014.
Quit or be sacked
Raising a point of morality, the Swabhimani paksh had told Khot to quit and asked the BJP to sack him if he doesn't resign.
"Since Khot is not our member, he shouldn't be there as the minister and in the legislature," said a statement released by Swabhimani paksh.
Khot, a junior minister of agriculture, was inducted into the Fadnavis team in July last year and then elected to the House of elders. 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 my party has 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 had told mid-day a month ago.
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.
Decision to come
Now, either Khot, officially shown as a BJP minister, will be taken into the BJP fold, or he will be removed from the council of ministers. The decision would largely depend on how talks between the BJP and Swabhimani paksh take shape in the days to come.
Fadnavis had come to Khot's rescue when a woman in Pune had accused the latter of sexually exploiting her late last month. The CM had told the legislature that the matter was a misunderstanding. The woman has withdrawn her police complaint.
Sources said the woman's allegation and his poor performance in dealing with the farmers' issue might go against him whenever a Cabinet reshuffle or expansion takes place.
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