BJP Dumps Eknath Khadse for Maharashtra Elections But Placates Him With Ticket for Daughter
The decision to field Rohini Khadse indicates that the party has succeeded in placating her father, who is one of its senior most leaders in the state but has been sidelined following charges of irregularities.
File photo of Maharashtra BJP leader Eknath Khadse. (PTI photo)
New Delhi: The BJP has fielded the daughter of its senior Maharashtra leader Eknath Khadse from his Muktainagar constituency as it released its fourth list of candidates for the state assembly polls.
The decision to field Rohini Khadse indicates that the party has succeeded in placating her father, who is one of its senior most leaders in the state but has been sidelined following charges of irregularities when he was a minister in the Devendra Fadnavis government. He had to resign as revenue minister in 2016.
Party sources said it was made clear to him that he would not be given ticket this time. The BJP and the Shiv Sena are the main constituents of the ruling alliance in Maharashtra, which goes to polls on October 21.
For the saffron party, the Leva-Patil community holds much importance and Khadse has been the party’s point person for years in getting the group’s support. But with senior cabinet minister Girish Mahajan’s growing clout in north Maharashtra, Khadse seemed to be losing his stature in the saffron camp.
Sources said Khadse lost his prominence in the party due to his enmity with Fadnavis. When the BJP won the maximum number of seats in 2014, Khadse was eyeing the chief minister's post given his seniority, legislative experience, and due to the fact that he is an OBC face.
The party instead chose Fadnavis, leading to animosity between the two. After Khadse's name surfaced in a scam, the chief minister made him step down as revenue minister.
Dismissing rumours that he was warming up to the NCP in the state, Khadse on Thursday said: “I have not met or had any conversation with Sharad Pawar for a year now. I don't know why he is spreading the false story of me joining NCP or even contacting him. I don’t know what responsibility the BJP will bestow on me but I'll remain a dedicated worker of the party.”
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