Disgruntled Eknath Khadse to meet Uddhav Thackeray today
While BJP leaders deny he could quit party, Eknath Khadse is on the fast-track gathering support for an anti-Devendra Fadnavis camp
Estranged BJP leader Eknath Khadse met NCP boss Sharad Pawar in New Delhi on Monday and is expected to meet Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray today, following his fallout with the state leadership. He is not happy with the way he was treated in the last five years and holds a grudge against the leaders who allegedly worked to defeat his daughter Rohini from the Muktainagar Assembly segment in October this year.
The former minister and Opposition leader had sought time from the BJP high command for an interaction in New Delhi. People close to him said he was waiting for an audience with the party bosses.
Khadse has opened up a front, apparently against ex-CM Devendra Fadnavis, who he has accused of sidelining him in the government and party affairs.
There are certain leaders against whom Khadse has apparently gathered evidence against to prove their involvement in his daughter's narrow loss. Firstly, he had to quit in view of corruption charges which he said were fabricated and sought a clean chit and comeback in the Fadanvis cabinet. The move didn't work but his efforts were weakened further when he was denied an Assembly poll ticket like many others in the party.
Now Khadse is in touch with BJP leaders, especially OBC influencers, to build up a momentum against Fadnavis and other leaders like Girish Mahajan. Some of these leaders have also accused certain leaders of denying them tickets.
One such leader Pankaja Munde has created a storm with social media posts, but later denied her intention to quit the party. She is expected to deliver a message to her followers on December 12, her late father Gopinath's birth anniversary.
Khadse, too, will join her and the attendance at the said function should bring the anti-Fadnavis camp together.
Sources said Khadse met Pawar to deliberate on many issues that dog him. The pretext was a discussion on water resources projects in Khadse's region.
Khadse has repeatedly said all options are open to him. The Sena may also welcome him, as would the NCP.
The Sena was miffed with Khadse after the two parties had broken up ahead of 2014 elections. It was Khadse who had declared a temporary separation then. But a changed politics in view of realignment of ideologies of three different and old friends in all three parties should augur well for Khadse, said a BJP leader.
BJP state president Chandrakant Patil had said a couple of days ago that Khadse would not quit. The rumours of the same thing by at least a dozen BJP legislators was also dismissed by him.
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