'There must be a big reason behind his decision': Sanjay Raut on Eknath Khadse quitting BJP

A day after senior Maharashtra BJP leader Eknath Khadse quit the party to join NCP, Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut on Thursday said that there must be compelling reason behind his decision.

"If in this phase of his life, Eknath Khadse is quitting BJP with tears in his eyes after serving the party for 40 years and now joining NCP, then there must be a big reason behind his decision. 'Unki kundli jamm gai hogi'," Sanjay Raut told news agency ANI.

Sulking since his unceremonious exit from the Devendra Fadnavis-led ministry in 2016, senior Maharashtra BJP leader Eknath Khadse on Wednesday quit the party and said that he will join the Sharad Pawar-led NCP later this week.

Speaking to reporters, Khadse (68) blamed Fadnavis for "trying to destroy his life" and political career, over three decades of it spent in strengthening the BJP in Maharashtra.

Khadse has been sulking after he had to resign from the Fadnavis-led ministry in 2016 over corruption allegations. The seniormost minister in the Fadnavis ministry, Khadse resigned as revenue minister in 2016 over land grab allegations, and was since then largely sidelined in the BJP.

Khadse lashed out at Fadnavis after quitting the BJP and claimed that the former chief minister instructed the police to implicate him in a fake harassment case.

Talking about how he "suffered" in the BJP, Khadse said, "The then CM (Fadnavis) instructed police to register FIR against me on false allegation of harassment by a woman.

He said the case would be withdrawn later. Inquiries for corruption was initiated against me in which I came clean." Khadse said Fadnavis tried to destroy his (political) life.

Responding to the charges levelled by Khadse against him, Fadnavis said his former BJP colleague was speaking "half truth".

"If he had complaints about me, he would have told seniors of the party," Fadnavis said. Terming Khadse's resignation as unfortunate, Fadnavis said, "It would have been better had he not resigned." "I will not speak about this today but will do so at a proper time," Fadnavis said, adding Khadse had painted him a villain while making the allegations against him.

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