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Maha Blame Game Begins in BJP as Eknath Khadse Questions Accepting Ajit Pawar’s Support

Maharashtra CM Devendra Fadnavis shaking hands with Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) leader Ajit Pawar after the oath-taking ceremony. (Image: Special Arrangement)

Maharashtra CM Devendra Fadnavis shaking hands with Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) leader Ajit Pawar after the oath-taking ceremony. (Image: Special Arrangement)

A known detractor of Devendra Fadnavis, Eknath Khadse said the BJP shouldn’t have accepted support from Ajit Pawar while he faces cases in the irrigation scam.

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Mumbai: As the dust settles on the month-long political drama in Maharashtra, a faint scent of blame game is beginning to waft in from the BJP circles with senior leader Eknath Khadse questioning the decision to accept NCP leader Ajit Pawar’s support in the first place.

A known detractor of Devendra Fadnavis, who resigned as the chief minister on Tuesday after failing to cobble up the numbers despite staking claim to power, Khadse pointed to the irrigation scam cases against Ajit.

“My personal opinion is that the BJP should not have taken the support of Ajit ‘Dada’ Pawar. He is an accused in the massive irrigation scam and faces many allegations. So we should not have allied with him,” Khadse said.

Nine cases pertaining to the alleged scam during Ajit Pawar’s tenure as Maharashtra irrigation minister were closed by the state’s anti-corruption bureau on Monday, two days after Ajit ditched uncle and NCP chief Sharad Pawar to extend support to the BJP in exchange for the deputy CM’s post.

The move boomeranged on Ajit and Fadnavis, however, as both had to resign after the Supreme Court ordered them to face an open ballot floor test within 24 hours.

Hours later, Khadse had described Ajit’s resignation as a "face saving act". "It would have been more humiliating for Ajit Pawar had he waited for the floor test in the Maharashtra Assembly. It was expected that he (Ajit Pawar) would quit," Khadse had told reporters on Tuesday evening.

Khadse, who is in political wilderness for last four years, said his party and the Shiv Sena should have amicably resolved the issues between them, post the verdict of the October assembly elections. "Had they found some solution, it would have been better for Maharashtra," Khadse said, referring to the Sena and BJP parting ways over the former's demand for the chief minister's post.

Commenting on the dramatic turn of events, BJP chief Amit Shah said on Wednesday that the party went ahead to the Governor as Ajit approached them as NCP’s leader of the legislative party.

“Ajit Pawar came to us with the letter of support, so we went ahead. He was the leader of the legislative party. Not a single case against Ajit Pawar has been withdrawn, media reports were wrong. The BJP never on compromised its ideology by going with Ajit Pawar. The BJP never did any horse-trading,” Shah said at a media summit.

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