The war of words over Eknath Khadse’s comments pertaining to the Maharashtra legislative council election has now turned into a slanging match between the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and Congress. While the latter has sent Khadse feelers to join it, the former has warned it of an earthquake at the state- and national-level post CoVID-19.
The recent internal fight within the BJP over not issuing Eknath Khadse a ticket for the legislative council poll had shocked the state. “Offering entry to Khadse is like playing with fire. He is like our father. Congress must first take care of its own party leaders. Balasaheb Thorat must be knowing that three national-level leaders (one senior and two young leaders) are on the way to joining the BJP. There will be an earthquake in the Congress at the national- and state-level after the pandemic. Many Congress leaders will join BJP in the state too,” Patil claimed.
Patil then went ahead to remind Congress of what happened in Madhya Pradesh. “Everybody knows how it treated senior leaders like Jyotiraditya Scindia and Narayan Rane, who later joined the BJP. Congress cannot respect a senior leader like Khadse,” he taunted.
Adding fuel to BJP’s internal fight, Congress state President Balasaheb Thorat has sent feelers to Khadse. “The doors of Congress will always be open for Khadse. We are not offering him to join Congress. If he wishes to, he will be welcomed,” Thorat said. “Khadse is my old friend. We have been working since 1990, when he first became a legislator. Though our parties are different, we are good friends. We have seen a very strong leader of opposition in him. If such a strong leader wants to join Congress, we will welcome him,” he said.
“BJP does not need a mass-based leader. BJP always takes care that leaders from the OBC community shouldn’t rise beyond a certain level. Despite being in the BJP for so many years, Khadse learned this fact very late,” he said.