MUMBAI: The audio clip of estranged senior BJP leader Eknath Khadse, in which he was heard telling a loyalist that he has decided to leave the BJP, has gone viral.
In the clip, Khadse's loyalist Roshan Bhangale tells him that he has been sidelined again while other leaders such as Pankaja Munde and Vinod Tawde promoted to senior posts in BJP’s national party newly formed committee.
“I will make the final decisions in the next month. Without getting anything concrete in hand, there is no point leaving the BJP and joining other parties. I will take the decision at the right time,” Khadse told his loyalist over the phone.
Interestingly, Khadse said that it was not his voice in the clip and someone might have done mimicry. The mobile phone of his loyalist with whom he was heard speaking to has been switched off since the clip went viral.
Sources in NCP said it is true that Eknath Khadse is negotiating with them. “NCP chief Sharad Pawar had called a meeting with the party leaders from Jalgaon, the native place of Khadse. Pawar saheb deliberated on the pro and cons in the scenario of Khadse joining the NCP. He wanted to gauge our opinion before inducting Khadse into the party,” said a senior NCP leader who attended the meeting.
He further said that Khadse is an OBC leader with a significant fan following in other communities as well. “Khadse joining the NCP will boost the cadre in North Maharashtra and some part of the Vidarbha. The Leva Patil community from North Maharashtra has always with BJP because of Khadse.
"Once Khadse joins the NCP, the community will follow the suit. It will damage the prospect of the BJP in a big way. Khadse is a grassroots leader who expanded BJP with late Gopinath Munde and Pramod Mahajan in every nook and corner of the Maharashtra” said a source requesting anonymity.