Eknath Khadse: Devendra Fadnavis, Girish Mahajan behind denial of poll ticket
Khadse, while speaking to Marathi news channel ABP Majha on Wednesday, also said that some people wanted to end his political career
Senior BJP leader Eknath Khadse has alleged that former Maharashtra chief minister Devendra Fadnavis and party leader Girish Mahajan were behind denial of ticket to him in the state Assembly polls held last year. Khadse, while speaking to Marathi news channel ABP Majha on Wednesday, also said that some people wanted to end his political career.
"I am told by the BJP's state core committee members that Devendra Fadnavis and Girish Mahajan had opposed issuing ticket to me from Muktainagar Assembly seat in Jalgaon district. They even opposed BJP central committee's willingness to give ticket to me," Khadse said. "I was told about it by some core committee members on condition of anonymity," the former state minister claimed. Khadse resigned as revenue minister in 2016 in the then BJP-led government over allegations of impropriety in a land deal. He was at that time the senior-most minister in the Fadnavis-led Cabinet. He could never return to the Cabinet and was denied ticket by the BJP in the Assembly polls in October last year.
The saffron party, instead, gave the ticket to his daughter Rohini Khadse from Muktainagar. However, she lost to Shiv Sena rebel Chandrakant Patil. "Going by all the developments that have happened so far, it seems like some people were against me and wanted to end my political career. The state BJP gave tickets to those who had no mass support, which is why we fared badly," Khadse further told the news channel. "Senior BJP leaders from Maharashtra, such as Union minister Nitin Gadkari, were hardly invited for the poll campaign," he said. Maharashtra BJP chief Chandrakant Patil also got stuck in his own Assembly constituency, instead of campaigning for the party's candidates across the state, he said. "On the contrary, only Devendra Fadnavis was campaigning across the state.
The capability and influence of other senior leaders should have been utilised for the campaign," Khadse said. The disgruntled leader last month said he had submitted "proof" against the leaders responsible for the defeat of the party nominees in north Maharashtra. "I have all the proof with names of individuals who are responsible for BJP's electoral losses (in the region)," he said earlier. He also demanded action against these leaders for the BJP's shrunken tally of 105 seats, as compared to 122 in 2014 in the 288-member Assembly. Khadse has been trying to regain his position in the BJP since he was forced to resign as minister. Apart from him, senior BJP leaders Vinod Tawde and Prakash Mehta from Mumbai, and Chandrashekhar Bawankule from east Maharashtra were also denied tickets in the Assembly polls.
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