Khadse raises eyebrows at BJP meet

Sep 04, 2013, 05:16 IST | Priyankka Deshpande

Eyebrows were raised at the Bharatiya Janata Party's (BJP) state executive meet after Eknath Khadse, BJP's Opposition leader in the state, chose to sit in the last row among mediapersons yesterday

Party functionaries who were seated on the dais as national President Rajnath Singh addressed the press were baffled with his act. The drama was, however, short-lived as the party city president Anil Shirole and state spokesperson Madhav Bhandari personally went to Khadse and forced him to sit on the dais. 

However, prior to this incident, during the inauguration ceremony, it was observed that Khadse stood at a distance from other dignitaries, including Gopinath Munde and Devendra Fadanavis. Questions were raised whether Khadse was intentionally keeping a low profile within the party.

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During the Jalgaon elections recently, Khadse who was aiming at wresting power of the corporation managed to win only 15 seats, six more than the last time. Although he has cordial relations with the party leaders, noticing a faction within the state unit of the party, he may have wanted to steer clear of all controversies.

However, clearing the air, Khadse said that since he arrived late at the venue where Singh was holding a press conference, he chose to sit with the media persons rather than disrupt the proceedings.

“I wasn’t feeling well and therefore had visited a doctor after the inauguration of the executive meet. However, as I arrived late at the venue, I didn’t want to disturb the media briefing. I sat in the last row chair, as it was vacant,” said Khadse.

Meanwhile, Rajnath Singh in his first media briefing in the city lashed out at the UPA government and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh for his weak economic policies. Singh said that Manmohan Singh is the first PM in the history of world politics who has stated that the country’s economy was weakened due to the Opposition party. “The economy has weakened due to the wrong policies of the government, as they don’t have vision, intention, right policies and planning to make strong the existing economic situation across the country,” said Singh.

Singh said that the smooth functioning of parliament is the responsibility of the government and the opposition parties are not cheerleaders of the PM. “The people of this country have given us the role of a watchdog and the party is playing its role in both the houses of the Parliament. However, the PM wants the BJP to act as cheerleaders inside Parliament even after they have indulged in various scams.

Singh stayed clear of any controversy, by choosing not to reply when asked to comment on the alienation of Sushma Swaraj in the wake of the recent attack on her on the a social networking site. When asked why not a single party functionary came to her rescue when a Congress leader accused her of double standards, Singh chose to keep mum.

Congress leader Digvijaya Singh took Swaraj to task for her double standards on the Asaram issue. Following the incident, not a single party functionary came to her rescue, although they the party members are quick to retaliate when someone attacks Gujarat CM Narendra Modi. 

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