Mumbai: The Sharad Pawar-led Nationalist Congress Party on Friday hinted that entry of former BJP leader Eknath Khadse is just a trailer as several leaders have evinced interest to join the party. State party chief and Minister of Water Resources Jayant Patil said that already 10 to 12 BJP leaders are in NCP’s touch as they are keen to migrate while Home Minister Anil Deshmukh added that Khadse’s decision to quit BJP and join NCP has made those sitting on the fence to take a decision.
NCP on Friday made a grand event of welcoming Khadse into the party fold as its senior leaders were present on the occasion. The ruling party also sent a strong signal to BJP that it has not forgotten its ‘’mega entry’’ events wherein NCP leaders were admitted ahead of assembly elections held last year. NCP is geared up to take on BJP which has been issuing new deadlines for the collapse of the Maha Vikas Aghadi government in the state.
Patil blasted BJP for making Khadse sit on the backbenches from the first row of the state legislature and said it had exhibited saffron party’s use-and-throw policy. However, he assured Khadse that NCP is a family where Pawar’s word is final and all work in unity.
NCP proposes to field Khadse to counter BJP in a bid to regain its lost bastion especially in north Maharashtra and other parts of the state. Khadse has assured to work with the same zeal in strengthening NCP not just in Jalgaon or in North Maharashtra but other parts too.
With Khadse’s entry, NCP hopes to become a dominant player in local and civic bodies, cooperative banks and other organisations in Jalgaon. Minister of Social Justice Dhananjay Munde said BJP has received a major blow with Khadse’s entry in the NCP and the party will lose its relevance in Jalgaon soon.
Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar, who could not attend Khadse’s event due to illness, said NCP has become stronger.
Now the ball is clearly in Khadse’s court as the NCP believes that it has received a jackpot.