NCP bets on Eknath Khadse in Maharashtra council polls

The NCP also renominated Ramraje Naik-Nimbalkar, who is the chairman of Maharashtra Legislative Council
Last Updated : 09 June 2022, 06:26 IST

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Much on expected lines, the Sharad Pawar-led NCP on Thursday nominated veteran politician Eknath Khadse -- who had switched over from the BJP -- for the elections to the Maharashtra Legislative Council.

The NCP also renominated Ramraje Naik-Nimbalkar, who is the chairman of Maharashtra Legislative Council.

Khadse (69), popularly known as Natha Bhau, hails from Muktainagar in Jalgaon district. He has been in public life for nearly four decades and is a veteran in North Maharashtra politics. His relationship cuts across party lines.

His daughter-in-law Raksha Khadse is a BJP MP from Raver.

In October 2020, Khadse resigned from the BJP following differences with former Chief Minister and now Leader of Opposition Devendra Fadnavis and joined the NCP.

In fact, Khadse’s name was sent by Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray to Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari in November 2020 for a membership to the Council from the Governor’s quota. However, so far, the latter has not cleared the file containing 12 names.

In the erstwhile BJP-Shiv Sena government led by Fadnavis, he was virtually the No. 2, holding as many as 10 portfolios including that of Revenue, Relief and Rehabilitation, Earthquake Rehabilitation, Minorities Development and Wakf, Agriculture and Horticulture, Animal Husbandry, Dairy Development and Fisheries and State Excise. Besides, he is also the Guardian Minister of Jalgaon district.

Khadse had to resign amid several charges of corruption.

In the 2019 Maharashtra Legislative Assembly elections, Khadse was denied a ticket.

After he left the BJP, he had been facing probes by the Enforcement Directorate.

Groomed by the late Pramod Mahajan and the late Gopinath Munde, he was one of those who built the BJP in Maharashtra.

From 1995-99, he served under two chief ministers -- Dr Manohar Joshi and Narayan Rane -- and held portfolios like Higher and Technical Education, Finance and Planning, Irrigation and Command Area Development. From 2009-2014, he was the Leader of the Opposition and led the charge against the then Congress-NCP Democratic Front government.

Published 09 June 2022, 06:26 IST

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