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Home > Mumbai > Mumbai News > Article > Lok Sabha elections 2024 Veteran Eknath Khadse who is NCP SP MLC to return to BJP fold next week

Lok Sabha elections 2024: Veteran Eknath Khadse, who is NCP (SP) MLC, to return to BJP fold next week

Updated on: 07 April,2024 11:56 AM IST  |  Mumbai
mid-day online correspondent |

Khadse, who had to resign in 2016 as a minister of the erstwhile Devendra Fadnavis cabinet owing to a land deal case, said he had left the party over certain developments

Lok Sabha elections 2024: Veteran Eknath Khadse, who is NCP (SP) MLC, to return to BJP fold next week

Eknath Khadse. File Pic

More than three years after he ended his 40-year-old association with BJP following differences with state leadership and crossed over to the Sharad Pawar-led NCP (undivided), veteran leader Eknath Khadse on Saturday said he will join his parent party next week in New Delhi, reported news agency PTI.


Khadse, who had to resign in 2016 as a minister of the erstwhile Devendra Fadnavis cabinet owing to a land deal case, said he had left the party over certain developments.



Once one of the tallest leaders of the Bharatiya Janata Party in Maharashtra, Khadse was relegated to the political wilderness for almost five years before Sharad Pawar rehabilitated him in NCP (undivided) in 2020.


"I am returning to the BJP. I approached the Central leadership of BJP and conveyed to them my wish to return to the party fold. I will formally join the BJP in Delhi next week," Khadse, 71, told PTI.

Notably, Khadse had blamed Fadnavis and his confidant Girish Mahajan for harming his political career.

"I have discussed all issues I had with state BJP with top leadership and made up my mind to return," said Khadse, who recently met BJP chief JP Nadda and Union Home Minister Amit Shah, reported PTI.

Khadse said he would join the BJP in Delhi next week.

When asked about the reason for his decision to return to the BJP fold, the veteran from North Maharashtra said he had been associated with the saffron party for more than four decades.

"I worked hard to build the party at the grassroots. I was upset with some developments and left," said Khadse, reported PTI.

He joined the NCP (undivided) in 2020 and was made MLC.

Interestingly, Khadse, his wife and son-in-law are facing charges of graft and misuse of official position in the land case that was registered with the Bund Garden police station in Pune city on a complaint of activist Hemant Gawande.

The case was later transferred to the ACB.

Khadse's entry into the BJP is expected to revive the party's strength in north Maharashtra region, reported PTI.

Recently, BJP's sitting MP from Jalgaon, Unmesh Patil, crossed over to Shiv Sena (UBT) recently after he was denied a ticket. The party has fielded Smita Wagh from Jalgaon.

Khadse's daughter-in-law Raksha Khadse is sitting BJP MP from Raver who is seeking a third term in Lok Sabha in the upcoming elections.

Khadse's daughter Rohini Khadse is with NCP (Sharadchandra Pawar).

Khadse, who hails from Muktainagar in Jalgaon district, expanded the BJP network at the grassroots in north Maharashtra, comprising the districts of Jalgaon, Nashik, Dhule and Nandurbar.

A strong OBC face in the BJP, he became more important after Gopinath Munde's death soon after becoming a Union minister in 2014.

Khadse belongs to the Leva Patil community, an influential vote bank in the northern region of the state.

It was Khadse who helped the BJP gain strength in the Zilla Parishad, then the district cooperative bank, and the Jalgaon municipal corporation.

Khadse replied in the negative when asked whether he discussed his move to join the BJP with Sharad Pawar.

"I have not yet thought about it," Khadse said when asked if he would resign as an MLC, reported PTI.

It doesn't matter as there are only three MLCs of the Sharad Pawar group now, he added, reported PTI.

Speaking at a rally, Shiv Sena minister Gulabrao Patil, who hails from Jalgaon, said Khadse will rejoin BJP on April 8 or 9, reported PTI.

(With inputs from PTI)

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