Fadnavis tried to destroy my life, political career: Khadse lashes out at former Maharashtra CM

At a press meet, Khadse said that Fadnavis as the erstwhile chief minister had planned many conspiracies against him and was even responsible for the registration of molestation case against him.

Published: 22nd October 2020 02:50 AM  |   Last Updated: 22nd October 2020 08:57 AM   |  A+A-

Senior BJP leader Eknath Khadse took a sarcastic jibe at the BJP party leadership, saying that his role has been reduced to that of senior party leader L K Advani. (File | PTI)

Senior BJP leader Eknath Khadse (File | PTI)

Express News Service

MUMBAI: Senior Maharashtra leader Eknath Khadse minced no words to attack former chief minister Devendra Fadnavis on Wednesday after he ended his nearly four-decade association with the BJP 
by submitting a one-line resignation letter.

Khadse is set to join the NCP on Friday.

Speaking to reporters, Khadse (68) blamed Fadnavis for "trying to destroy his life" and political career, over three decades of it spent in strengthening the BJP in Maharashtra.

“I have no complaint against any BJP leader, including PM Narendra Modi and (Home Minister) Amit Shah, but Devendra Fadnavis is solely responsible for destroying my political career over flimsy allegations. There was not a single Opposition leader who demanded an inquiry against me but Fadnavis believed so-called activists and forced me to resign from his ministry,” Khadse said.

“I was deliberately targeted by him and his coterie.”

Later, Fadnavis said he would keep doing the good work for the party despite Khadse depicting him as a villain in public eyes.

At a press meet, Khadse said that Fadnavis as the erstwhile chief minister had planned many conspiracies against him and was even responsible for the registration of molestation case against him.

“After this case, I met Fadnavis and asked why bogus molestation case was lodged against him. ... It was shocking for me and I never expected that Fadnavis whom I groomed and gave space as an Opposition leader will stoop so low.” Khadse said that he took this issue with the central leadership but it informed him  that Fadnavis was not in favour of taking him back in the ministry.  

Barring BJP state chief Chandrakant Patil, he said, no one called to stop him  from resigning.

“It is an emotional moment but I have to get justice and move forward,” he added.

Khadse has been sulking after he had to resign from the Fadnavis-led ministry in 2016 over corruption allegations.

NCP minister Jayant Patil said Khadse will join the NCP on Friday, ending prolonged speculation over the latter's next political move.

ALSO READ | Khadse's move to quit party shocking, bitter truth: Maharashtra BJP leaders

Patil, who is also the state NCP chief, said with the joining of a seasoned leader like Khadse, who was also former leader of opposition in the state Assembly, the NCP will be strengthened, particularly in north Maharashtra's Khandesh region, from where Khadse hails.

The seniormost minister in the Fadnavis ministry, Khadse resigned as revenue minister in 2016 over land grab allegations, and was since then largely sidelined in the BJP.

Patil claimed "a lot of people" want to join the NCP.

"As per my information, a lot of MLAs are in touch with him," the minister said.

He said he is sure the BJP will introspect as to why a senior leader like Khadse quit the party.

Asked about the role Khadse will be given in the NCP, Patil said, "The party will take a decision about it. He has consented to work under the leadership of Pawar saheb."

Eknath Khadse's daughter-in-law Raksha Khadse is BJP's Lok Sabha member from Raver seat in north Maharashtra.

Responding to the charges levelled by Khadse against him, Fadnavis said his former BJP colleague was speaking "half truth".

"If he had complaints about me, he would have told seniors of the party," Fadnavis said.

Terming Khadse's resignation as unfortunate, Fadnavis said, "It would have been better had he not resigned."

"I will not speak about this today but will do so at a proper time," Fadnavis said, adding Khadse had painted him a villain while making the allegations against him.

Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray said the BJP should think why are its foundation stones coming off when it is reaching the pinnacle of success.

Thackeray said Khadse is "definitely welcome" to the family of the ruling Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) comprising the Shiv Sena, NCP and Congress.

Thackeray said Khadse is among the leaders who expanded the BJP's base in parts of the state along with Pramod Mahajan aind Gopinath Munde.

Khadse has a separate identity, is a fighter and a straight-forward leader, the Shiv Sena president said.

"We (Shiv Sena) left the NDA, the Shiromani Akali Dal also left the alliance recently. Now Khadse is also not with the BJP. Hence, the BJP should think about it. Being an old friend of the BJP, it is my duty to alert them," he said.

Terming Khadse's decision to quit the BJP unfortunate, Union minister Raosaheb Danve said the issues he had could have been resolved with time.

"Due to some reasons, he was away from the main flow of politics, but that doesn't mean Khadse should leave the BJP. This is unfortunate," Danve said.

ALSO READ | BJP should think why its foundation stones are coming off: CM Uddhav on Eknath Khadse joining NCP

"The party has received Khadse's resignation. We tried to dissuade him, but our efforts were in vain. We wish good luck for his political future," state BJP's chief spokesperson Keshav Upadhye said.

When asked about the future of Raksha Khadse in BJP, he said she has maintained that she will continue with the BJP and "we have no issues with it."

Many BJP leaders in Maharashtra expressed shock and disappointment over Khadse's decision to quit the party. BJP's state unit chief Chandrakant Patil said, "We were hopeful that Khadse would stay with the party, until I received his resignation today."

"We were optimistic about finding a solution through dialogue and move ahead irrespective of his disappointment with some leaders. I wish him good luck for his future journey," he said.

BJP's former state unit chief Sudhir Mungantiwar said the party needs to think about why Khadse decided to quit.

"Khadse's decision to leave the party has come as a major shock to the BJP's state unit. He had worked for the growth of the party for several years. I think the party needs to think why such a senior leader decided to quit," he said.

(With PTI Inputs)


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