Mumbai: More than four years and four months after he was asked by Bhartiya Janata Party’s central leadership to step down from the post of Revenue Minister in the then state government led by Devendra Fadnavis, Eknath Khadse on Wednesday (October 21) resigned from all posts of BJP. Khadse is all set to join the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) on Friday.
The Jalgaon and adjoining districts in Maharashtra are the strongholds of Eknath Khadse. NCP is expected to increase their hold over these areas after Khadse’s joining of the party. Confirming the news, NCP leader Jayant Patil talking to mediapersons on Wednesday said, “Khade has resigned from BJP and will officially join NCP by Friday (October 23) 2 pm. Many others are interested to join the NCP along Khadse. He is a senior leader and the BJP has done injustice to him.”
Khadse has been unhappy ever since he had to resign from his ministership in June 2016 from the then Fadnavis-led government in the state. Since then Khadse was disappointed with the Fadnavis camp within the BJP who had a strong backing of party’s central leadership including Prime Minister Narendra Modi and then party chief Amit Shah.
Khadse’s followers initially also alleged that Devendra Fadnavis was instrumental in expelling Khadse from the party. In the 2019 assembly elections of Maharashtra, Khadse was denied ticket from Muktainagar. His daughter Rohini was chosen in his place but she lost to Shiv Sena rebel Chandrakant Patil.
During these four years, BJP leadership tried to pacify Khadse in many ways. Khadse also threatened to leave the party time-to-time, but his threats were just ignored by the leadership. Interestingly, Khadse’s daughter-in-law Raksha Khadse, was given a ticket by BJP to contest from the General elections from Raver Lok Sabha constituency in Jalgaon. Sources said, as of now, Raksha will stay in BJP.
Eknath Khadse is a senior leader and will have to be sufficiently rehabilitated in the Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA). Khadse will have to be rendered a senior minister in the Maha-Vikas Aghadi government led by Uddhav Thackeray.