MUMBAI: Former BJP MLA Anil Gote has accused the then Maharashtra chief minister Devendra Fadnavis and his "coterie" of conspiring against mass leaders like Eknath Khadse and Pankaja Munde.
Gote, who recently joined the NCP, dubbed the then CM's official residence, where "conspiracies" were planned according to him, as "Varsha night club".
Gote alleged that a group of BJP leaders, including the then minister Girish Mahajan, would meet Fadnavis at his official residence in Mumbai every night and hatch plots on strengthening the local opponents of these mass leaders.
Gote said he joined the Sharad Pawar-led party as he was "fed up" with the conspiracies of this "Varsha night club".
His statement on December 12 came on a day when disgruntled BJP leaders Pankaja Munde and Eknath Khadse virtually raised a banner of revolt against Fadnavis, without taking his name.
Khadse had blamed certain BJP leaders for the defeat of his daughter Rohini from Jalgaon district and that of Pankaja Munde.
Khadse had claimed to have "all the proof with names of the individuals who were responsible for BJP's electoral losses".
Gote, who was a BJP MLA from Dhule between 2014 and 2019, had quit the party ahead of the October 21 state Assembly elections.
On December 12, he joined the NCP, which is now part of the Maharashtra Vikas Aghadi government with the Shiv Sena and Congress.
In a statement, Gote alleged the 'Varsha night club' gang of Fadnavis had brought "bure din" (bad days) for the state BJP.
"Fadnavis sidelined mass leaders like Eknath Khadse, Pankaja Munde, Prakash Mehta, Raj Purohit and others and promoted the coterie of Girish Mahajan, Jaykumar Rawal, Prasad Lad, Pravin Darekar, Ram Kadam and others, who would meet at 'Varsha' after 10 pm everyday and conspire to strengthen the local opponents of the mass leaders," he alleged.
"I am also a victim of such conspiracy," he added.
Accusing Fadnavis of scheming and lying, Gote said the idea of empowering political opponents to put down leaders of own parties is not tolerable.
The BJP had denied tickets to former ministers Eknath Khadse, Prakash Mehta, Vinod Tawde and Chandrashekhar Bawankule in the assembly polls which saw the party's tally coming down by 17 seats compared to 2014 performance, when it had won 122 seats.
Pankaja Munde, who had served as a minister in the Fadnavis-led cabinet, has been sulking since she lost her seat Parli to her estranged cousin and NCP rival Dhananjay Munde.