'I Built BJP In Maharashtra': Eknath Khadse Quits To Join NCP, All Eyes On Pankaja Munde Now

Pavan Dahat
·2-min read
Eknath Khadse and Devendra Fadnavis in a file photo
Eknath Khadse and Devendra Fadnavis in a file photo

NAGPUR, Maharashtra: In a major jolt to the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in Maharashtra, one of its senior-most leaders, Eknath Khadse, resigned from all party posts on Wednesday.

Jayant Patil, Nationalist Congress Party’s (NCP) Maharashtra president and senior minister in the Uddhav Thackeray cabinet, announced in a press conference that Khadse would be joining the NCP on Friday in presence of party supremo Sharad Pawar.

BJP spokesperson Keshav Upadhye also addressed a press conference in Mumbai and confirmed that the state BJP president has received Khadse’s resignation letter.

“Efforts were being made to pacify him till today morning but since he has resigned now, we give him our best wishes for the future,” Upadhey said in the press conference.

68-year-old Khadse is a six-time MLA from the Muktainagar assembly segment in Jalgaon district of Maharashtra and had been a member of the BJP for over 40 years.

“I built the BJP in the state. What is the contribution of those who are leading it now? I gave my 40 years to the party. I am not unhappy with the central unit or the state unit. My problem is only with Devendra Fadnavis. I am leaving the BJP with a heavy heart and joining NCP on Friday,” Khadse told reporters in Jalgoan after announcing his resignation.

For the past year, a clamour has been growing inside the BJP against Fadnavis, who allegedly tightly controls the party despite not being the state president.

With Khadse’s resignation, all eyes will now be on the late Gopinath Munde’s daughter Pankaja, who had been a minister in Fadnavis cabinet. Pankaja lost from her Parli assembly seat in Beed district of the state in the 2019 election. Although she did not name any particular person for her defeat she blamed some party insiders for her defeat. In December last year, Pankaja and Khadse held a rally in Beed, where they openly attacked Fadnavis.

Pankaja has not publicly responded to Khadse’s resignation until now.

Union Home Minister Amit Shah with Devendra Fadnavis,  Eknath Khadse and Pankaja Munde in a file photo
Union Home Minister Amit Shah with Devendra Fadnavis, Eknath Khadse and Pankaja Munde in a file photo

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