Mumbai: Wasn't the NCP good when you took oath in wee hours, asks Eknath Khadse

Updated: 24 October, 2020 06:51 IST | Dharmendra Jore | Mumbai

NCP president Sharad Pawar inducted Khadse, his daughter Rohini, and a host of the family's supporters into the party at its headquarters in Mumbai

NCP leaders Chhagan Bhujbal and (far right) party chief Sharad Pawar with newly joined member (centre) Eknath Khadse at the party headquarters at Ballard Estate on Friday. PIC/Suresh Karkera
NCP leaders Chhagan Bhujbal and (far right) party chief Sharad Pawar with newly joined member (centre) Eknath Khadse at the party headquarters at Ballard Estate on Friday. PIC/Suresh Karkera

MAKING the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) his new home Friday, senior politician Eknath Khadse has not only threatened to expose land grabbing and corruption by certain Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leaders, but said he will also defeat his previous party in north Maharashtra.

NCP president Sharad Pawar inducted Khadse, his daughter Rohini, and a host of the family's supporters into the party at its headquarters in Mumbai.

The ex-BJP minister reiterated that his life was made miserable by some BJP leaders who enforced anti-corruption and molestation cases against him. "Thank you, Mr Pawar (for taking me in). Otherwise I would have gone into oblivion or made an old margdarshak (advisor) in BJP," he said.

Reserving the harshest words for former colleagues, Khadse said, "Let some time pass by. I will tell and prove who has taken land; who has done what; and who has been tweaking laws to his/her benefit. I will demand action against these people from the government," he said.

Khadse said when Jayant Patil told him that he would face inquiries after defecting, he told the state NCP chief, "I will play a CD (recorded footage) if they play ED against me..."

Khadse questioned the BJP leaders who opposed his entry into the NCP saying he had levelled charges against the NCP. "Arey wah, wasn't the NCP good for you when you took oath in the wee hours? But they (BJP leaders) cry foul when I am joining the NCP. Why? I tell them that I like the NCP much more than you did that morning," said Khadse.

Some NCP leaders said Khadse's comment could have embarrassed some people in the NCP, but luckily, Ajit Pawar, who had taken oath as deputy chief minister with Fadnavis as the CM, wasn't present at Friday's function because of quarantine compulsion.

Khadse vowed to defeat the BJP in his backyard, the party's fiefdom for 30 years. "Many people will join the NCP at a massive function to be held in Jalgaon. I assure Mr Pawar that the biggest ground there will be full of people. You will see a marked difference in one year. I will work for NCP as sincerely as I worked for the BJP," he said.Pawar said Khadse will boost the NCP's expansion plan in north Maharashtra. "Khandesh (part of north Maharashtra) needed more efforts from our side. But now with Khadse in the lead, we will achieve our goal. Khadse is the leader who transformed the Congress-dominated region into a BJP-dominated one. We can expect him to build the second phase for us."

Pawar dismissed rumours that the Cabinet would be reshuffled to accommodate Khadse. "Nothing will change because Khadse hasn't demanded anything from us. So, stop spreading rumours that someone from the NCP will be dropped from the Cabinet," he said.

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First Published: 24 October, 2020 07:00 IST

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