Eknath Khadse quits BJP, to join NCP on Friday

Updated: 21 October, 2020 14:39 IST | Dharmendra Jore | Mumbai

BJP state chief spokesperson Keshav Upadhey said the party received Eknath Khadse's resignation and efforts were made to retain the senior leader

Eknath Khadse. Pic/Pradeep Dhivar
Eknath Khadse. Pic/Pradeep Dhivar

Former Maharashtra minister and veteran BJP leader Eknath Khadse quit the party on Wednesday and is all set to join the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) on Friday.

As Khadse wanted to start the new innings during Navratri, the function will be held in Mumbai on Friday in the presence of NCP chief Sharad Pawar. Khadse's daughter Rohini will also join NCP, but there was no confirmation about Raver BJP MP and his daughter-in-law Raksha.

State NCP president Jayant Patil announced Khadse's induction plan on Wednesday. Ruling Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government said that many more BJP leaders will switch over to the MVA partners. Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray also welcomed Khadse into the MVA fold.

Khadse is expected to be drafted in the Upper House through the 12 seats that will be nominated in the Governor's quota, said sources. He has been promised a minister's office. Sources also said that Khadse is interested in being the agriculture or home minister in MVA government.

Meanwhile, some BJP leaders said that Khadse's decision was unfortunate. Party state chief spokesperson Keshav Upadhey said the party received the resignation and efforts were made to retain the senior leader. "It's always a sad moment when a leader or worker goes away. It seems Khadse had already made up his mind," he said, extending best wishes to the leader.

A former minister in the Devendra Fadnavis government, Khadse was asked to quit in 2016 following allegations of corruption which he had denied vehemently. He neither got back to the Mantralaya nor was given an Assembly poll ticket last year. The party replaced Khadse with his daughter Rohini as the party candidate in Muktainagar but lost the seat it had won consecutively in several elections.

However, Khadse's daughter-in-law Raksha won the Lok Sabha seat for BJP six months before Rohini's Assembly loss, which was solely blamed on the family's detractors in the BJP. Later, Khadse was ignored for the Rajya Sabha and denied positions in the party organisation as well.

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First Published: 21 October, 2020 14:20 IST

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