The slugfest between estranged senior BJP leader Eknath Khadse and state BJP president Chandrakant Patil and Leader of Opposition Devendra Fadnavis has escalated further with a series of allegations and counter allegations. This is threatening to demoralise cadres and put the party on the backfoot at a time when it should be challenging the Uddhav Thackeray government in Maharashtra.
Denied an MLC ticket in the recent legislative council elections, Khadse said he and the late Gopinath Munde gave their blood and sweat for the growth and expansion of the BJP but he has now been ignored and neglected.
“When we were building the party by turning its face from Brahmin Bania to Bahujan OBC, both Fadnavis and Patil were not even in the scene and some of them were even peeing in their pants. I personally have done a lot for the party but today I and other senior leaders in the BJP who are loyal to the party are neglected. MLC seats are given to newcomers who earlier made many wild allegations against Prime Minister Narendra Modi and other leaders. This is very unfortunate,” Khadse said.
Replying to the allegations, Patil said that Khadse himself had cheated several senior BJP leaders when he was a decision-maker in the party. “Khadse denied a Lok Sabha ticket to ex-BJP MP Haribhau Jawale and allotted a ticket to own daughter-in-law Raksha Khadse for the Raver Lok Sabha seat. He himself was given a ticket nine times and even his spouse was made the chairman of Mahananda Milk Federation. How many posts should be given to one family,” asked Patil.
In response, Khadse said that he deserves respect in the BJP because of his hard work and loyalty. “Chandrakant Patil came in active politics six years ago and that too with the blessing of the Delhi leadership. What is his contribution to the growth of the BJP in Maharashtra? Patil himself ran away from his home district Kolhapur to Pune (Kothrud) to contest the preceding state polls and encroached on the sitting BJP MLA’s safe and secure constituency. Patil should not teach me about politics and work culture of the BJP,” Khadse retorted.