Former minister and veteran BJP leader Eknath Khadse is certainly not in a mood to sit quiet till the leadership takes stern action against insiders who worked for the defeat of his daughter Rohini Khadse from Muktainagar constituency in Jalgaon district. Khadse, who has submitted evidence in this regard to state party chief Chandrakant Patil, met Nationalist Congress Party chief Sharad Pawar on Monday at the latter’s residence in New Delhi. Khadase is scheduled to meet Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray during the day today.
His meetings have sent ripples in the BJP which has convened its core meeting on Tuesday night to calm Khadse and prohibit him from quitting the party especially when the intra party differences have come to the fore after it has lost power in Maharashtra.
BJP general secretary Bhupendra Yadav, who was sent by the party high command to coordinate state assembly campaign, is believed to have spoken to Khadse not to take any extreme step. However, Khadse seems to be not willing anymore to tolerate party’s neglect towards him.
Khadse had already said if party fails to initiate stern action against insiders for anti-party activities he has several options including calling it a day.
On Monday when Khadse held 30 minute close door talks with Pawar, another OBC leader and former minister Pankaja Munde skipped party’s crucial divisional meeting at Aurangabad citing illness. Munde is sulking over her defeat from her cousin and NCP nominee Dhananjay Munde. Although she has clarified she will not quit the party, she is keeping a low profile.
Former minister Prakash Mehta, who was denied assembly ticket, reportedly met Munde on Monday. Their meeting has also sent signal in the party that all is not well as the resentment among leaders who were left out in poll campaigning is increasing against the party and especially against former chief minister Devendra Fadnavis.
As far as state BJP is concerned, move by Khadse and other OBC leaders and also from those who denied assembly tickets, comes as a big disappointment as the party has yet to adjust to its new role of opposition in the state after losing power to its former ally Shiv Sena. So far Prime Minister Narendra Modi and home minister Amit Shah have reportedly asked state leadership to tackle dissent. Therefore, the onus now is now on Fadnavis and state leadership led by Patil to pacify Khadse and other leaders.