Khadse threatens to expose BJP if pursued by ED
The veteran BJP leader from Maharashtra had quit the party last week complaining of harassment.
Eknath Khadse, seven-time MLA and architect of BJP’s rise to power in the state, quit the party last week and joined the Nationalist Congress Party. This comes after several months of outbursts against the party and accusations of being targeted with frivolous charges. This week he said that he has a CD of incriminating evidence against some state BJP leaders and will not hesitate to expose them if the party uses agencies like the Enforcement Directorate to come after him.
The party’s local leadership had used previously agencies like Anti-Corruption Bureau to harass him and set up inquiries based on flimsy charges, he said. He specifically blamed his departure on former chief minister Devendra Fadnavis and accused him of “destroying his life”. Fadnavis was picked instead of him to be the chief minister in 2015, while Khadse was given charge of 10 portfolios. Khadse was minister between 1995 and 1999 and has served as the opposition leader well.
It is expected that he will get a ministerial birth in the current government, of which the NCP is a coalition member.
An OBC leader from North Maharashtra, Khadse is expected to strengthen NCP’s base with both OBC voters and those from North Maharashtra, where they have so far struggled to make an impact. He had explored the option of joining the Congress or Shiv Sena but chose the NCP because the party didn’t have any strong leaders in North Maharashtra which is his domain. And NCP being a party primarily composed of Marathas, with their only other OBC mired in a corruption scandal, Khadse would be a valuable addition to the party in that aspect as well.
Many other BJP leaders from North Maharashtra are migrating along with Khadse. His daughter Rohini Khadse is also joining the NCP and expected to be given an important position in the party. His wife Mandakini, the chairperson of the Mahananda Milk Cooperative, has also followed suit. His daughter-in-law is the BJP MP from Raver and is expected to stay with the party, however. Khadse has said that many more people wanted to leave the BJP but they are being held back with the lie that the Maharashtra government is on the verge of falling. He assured that this is not the case.