Want to return 'home', says NCP (SP) MLC Eknath Khadse, set to rejoin BJP in next 15 days

Veteran leader Khadse had to resign in 2016 as a minister of the erstwhile Devendra Fadnavis cabinet owing to a land deal case.
Last Updated : 08 April 2024, 12:37 IST

Follow Us :


Mumbai: After expressing his gratitude towards party chief Sharad Pawar for helping him in distress, NCP (SP) MLC Eknath Khadse said that he would join the BJP, his parent organisation, in the next 15 days.

Veteran leader Khadse had to resign in 2016 as a minister of the erstwhile Devendra Fadnavis cabinet owing to a land deal case. Once one of the tallest leaders of the Bharatiya Janata Party in Maharashtra, Khadse was relegated to the political wilderness for almost five years before Sharad Pawar rehabilitated him in NCP (undivided) in 2020 when he ended his 40-year-old association with the BJP.

Speaking to reporters on Sunday, Khadse said, "I have decided to go back to the BJP as it is my home. I have served the party for four decades. I express my gratitude towards Sharad Pawar who helped me during the distress."

"I have spoken to leaders like BJP national president J P Nadda and Union Home Minister Amit Shah. I will join the party in New Delhi in next 15 days. Once I get a call, I will visit Delhi," he said.

Last year, Khadse chose to side with Sharad Pawar when the NCP split after Ajit Pawar and eight other MLAs joined the Eknath Shinde government.

On Sunday, state minister and BJP leader Girish Mahajan termed his former colleague Khadse an "extinguished lamp."

"He is like an extinguished lamp. Even a gram panchayat is not in his hand. He used to control a bank, but the board of directors has also changed, and new board members do not listen to him. Why make his decision so important?" Mahajan told reporters.

His wife and daughter have lost elections in the past, said Mahajan, who has been Khadse's arch-rival in Jalgaon district.

Khadse, who was leader of opposition in the state assembly between 2009 and 2014, was a contender for the post of chief minister when the BJP won 120-odd seats in the 2014 Assembly polls. However, he was beaten to the top post by Devendra Fadnavis.

His entry into the BJP is expected to revive the party's strength in north Maharashtra region. Recently, BJP's sitting MP from Jalgaon, Unmesh Patil, crossed over to Shiv Sena (UBT) recently after he was denied a ticket. The party has fielded Smita Wagh from Jalgaon. Khadse's daughter-in-law Raksha Khadse is sitting BJP MP from Raver and is seeking a third term in the Lok Sabha in the upcoming elections. His daughter Rohini Khadse is with NCP (Sharadchandra Pawar).

In 2019, she got a ticket from the BJP to contest the assembly polls from Muktainagar but was defeated by independent candidate Chandrakant Nimba Patil.

Eknath Khadse then blamed BJP leaders for the defeat.

Rohini Khadse, in a post on X on Sunday, said she would not follow her father into the BJP and would remain with the NCP (SP).

Published 08 April 2024, 12:37 IST

Follow us on :

Follow Us