Veteran OBC leader Eknath Khadse’s decision to quit has not only put the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on the defensive, but has left its leaders struggling to explain how unfortunate his decision is.
Khadse personally held former Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis accountable for ruining his political career and painted him a villain. In his reaction, Fadnavis said, “It is very unfortunate that Nathabhau has resigned. He has painted me a villain. I will speak at the right time.” “I have not made any false allegations against him,” the BJP leader added. He further noted that no other BJP leader will cross over to join other parties.
Senior BJP leader and Member of the Legislative Assembly (MLA) Sudhir Mungantiwar said that Khadse’s decision to quit the party is quite shocking and added that he should reconsider his move. “It is quite painful for Khadse to move from BJP that propagates and nurtures nationalism to a party that wears the veil of nationalism,” he viewed.
State party president Chandrakant Patil, who had recently said that Khadse will not join any party but stay with BJP, said, “Some time ago, Khadse's resignation from the primary membership of the Bharatiya Janata Party reached me as the state president. Until his resignation, we were all hopeful that Khadse would not take this decision, no matter how angry he was. But now that he has taken this decision, we cannot avoid it.” He further noted that Khadse will continue to contribute to the resolution of various social issues.
Former minister Ram Shinde said that Khadse, who was respected by all in BJP, may not be able to command the same respect in NCP.
Meanwhile, Khadse’s daughter-in-law Raksha Khadse, who is a BJP Member of the Parliament (MP) from Jalgaon, said she will not quit the party. “It is Khadse’s personal decision. I will continue to fulfil my responsibilities,” she noted.