NO ENTRY: Former minister may not return since there’s no likelihood of expansion or reshuffle
Mumbai : Senior Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader and former revenue minister Eknath Khadse will not re-inducted in the state cabinet in the near future. Khadse who had resigned after allegations of misuse of office in one of his family’s land deals, was hoping to make a comeback into the cabinet. Now there is
little chance of his re-entry into the state cabinet if a senior BJP minister is to be believed.
The BJP party leadership is very clear on certain issues and they are of the belief that nobody is indispensable in the party.
A senior leader, who did not wished to be named, said, “However senior and influential and loyal a person may be to the party, if there has been misappropriation of funds or misuse of office, the leader will have to bear the punishment.”
When asked about a recent meeting where Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis had reportedly taken the non-performing ministers to task, the minister said that performance evaluation was a regular and ongoing process.
After the reshuffle of the union cabinet, speculations regarding changes in the state cabinet too are rife. However, the minister set aside all the speculations saying the party leadership feels there is no need for a reshuffle.
The cabinet reshuffle at the Centre was essentially an expansion as there was a need to fill the vacancies.
“There are no vacancies in the state cabinet as such and hence there is no likelihood of any expansion or reshuffle,” a minister said. With the new approach that the party has adopted towards the elections, there is also no likelihood of any change in the state cabinet team, he added.
The minister also responded to speculation that senior Congress leader and former Shiv Sena CM Narayan Rane is expected to join BJP and the state cabinet. He said that the issue had been principally cleared from BJP’s side and that the delay was from Rane’s side.
“He can be inducted into the cabinet within hours of his crossing over to BJP, the portfolio will be decided whenever he joins the party,”said the minister.
Khadse’s list of woes
- Eknath Khadse has been embroiled in a slew of controversies and that led to his resignation from the state cabinet.
- Khadse was in trouble over allegations that his family purchased a three-acre plot in Pune that the Maharashtra Industrial Development Corporation had acquired and reserved for Industries. The then minister’s family had allegedly purchased the plot for just Rs 3.75 crore, whereas the actual plot price was around Rs 35 crore.
- The BJP leader also facing allegations that he had been in telephonic conversation with the wife of fugitive underworld don Dawood Ibrahim and that his Personal Assistant (PA) had taken bribes.
- Social activist Anjali Damania has also accused Khadse of passing alleged derogatory remarks about her.