Eknath Khadse
Eknath Khadse

Mumbai: A day after former chief minister Devendra Fadnavis led a blistering attack against the Shiv Sena for betrayal of the people’s mandate, veteran BJP leader and former minister Eknath Khadse has fired a fresh salvo against Fadnavis and former minister Girish Mahajan, saying they were the reason he was denied a ticket in the assembly election.

“I am told by the BJP’s state core committee members that Devendra Fadnavis and Girish Mahajan had opposed my being given a ticket from the Muktainagar assembly seat in Jalgaon district.

They opposed the BJP central committee’s willingness to give me a ticket,” Khadse said.

He told The Free Press Journal some core committee members had told him this on the condition of anonymity. “Going by the developments so far, it seems like some people were against me and wanted to end my political career.

The state BJP gave tickets to those who had no mass support, which is why we fared badly,” said Khadse, who had resigned as the revenue minister in the BJP-led government in 2016 over allegations of impropriety in a land deal.

Khadse further said senior BJP leaders from Maharashtra, including Union minister Nitin Gadkari, were hardly invited to campaign. Further, Khadse has been sulking over his daughter Rohini’s defeat in Muktainagar and has repeatedly claimed that it was the handiwork of party insiders.

Khadse had met Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray and Nationalist Congress Party chief Sharad Pawar but has clarified that he was not quitting the BJP. The disgruntled leader said he had submitted proof against the leaders responsible for the defeat of the party’s nominees in north Maharashtra.

“I have proof, with the names of individuals responsible for BJP's electoral losses,” he had said earlier.

He further informed, he had argued his case before the party working president JP Nadda, who is believed to have assured him of action against those who had allegedly worked against his daughter in the assembly election. However, Mahajan has denied Khadse’s charges, saying it was incorrect information.

“Khadse has been briefed wrongly. There was no discussion in the core committee meeting to deny Khadse a ticket or oppose his nomination. It is improper of Khadse to make such allegations based on wrong facts. I will speak to him,” Mahajan said.

Further, former finance minister Sudhir Mungantiwar observed that not giving a ticket to Khadse was a mistake. He had spent most of his time in expanding the party and it was obvious he continued to remain miffed, said Mungantiwar.

Efforts were on to address the issues raised by Khadse and it would be done through dialogue, Mungantiwar said.

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