BJP’s OBC leader Eknath Khadse is considering quitting BJP and joining Shiv Sena after the Devendra Fadnavis resigned as CM. He says the many political blunders by BJP in recent times has marred the party’s image.
Speaking to a leading daily, Khadse said, “I have an offer from Shiv Sena. Even I am seriously beginning to wonder if I should accept it. After all, it makes me wonder what is the point of staying in the party which has hurt the sentiments of people by compromising on principles.”
“The manner in which the party is functioning,” he said, “has caused a lot of anguish and embarrassment.”
Khadse refrained from naming any leader but commented on the functioning in the organisation and the party’s decision to form a 3-day government with NCP’s Ajit Pawar.
Khadse was forced to resign in 2016 following an alleged land scandal in Pune. His repeated attempts to comeback were also failed as he did not receive any support from the party. His daughter Rohini Khadse, a BJP candidate in the Assembly election was defeated by Shiv Sena’s candidate in north Maharashtra’s Muktainagar was another setback Khadse he blamed the BJP for.
“Especially, for a person like me whose association with Jana Sangh and BJP goes back to more than 40 years, the decision of the BJP to shake hands with Ajit Pawar’s NCP was the biggest political mistake. One decision demolished the organisation’s goodwill amongst the people. The BJP’s crusade against corruption which earned them a huge public mandate was lost with this one stroke,” Khadse said.
He also called the party’s decision to have Fadnavis swear-in as the CM in secrecy “an immature adventure.” He claims that “almost 18 to 25 seats lost were due to in-house differences which proved detrimental and led to our downfall.”
Khadse said that denying a ticket to Chandraskhekhar Bawankule, Vinod Tawde and himself “did not go down well among the OBC. They distanced themselves from the party.”
Another senior party functionary from Vidarbha told the paper, “The entire government formation operation including joining hands with Ajit Pawar was a collective call taken by the state and central leadership. Both Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP president Amit Shah’s agreement was sought. If the strategy failed, the responsibility should be collective. It would be unfair to single out any one leader at the Centre or state.”