BJP faces tough task to keep its flock together

Khadse has warned to leave the party if action not taken against insiders for damaging poll prospects

After losing power in Maharashtra, factionalism in the party with a difference, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), has come surface. The party is struggling to keep its flock together and especially convince the OBC leaders and former ministers Eknath Khadse and Pankaja Munde not to leave BJP on the ground that they are the respected leaders and their role will be crucial for its future.

Khadse has been quite vocal expressing displeasure and anguish over BJP’s neglect towards him and other OBC and senior leaders during the assembly election and thereafter. He has been repeatedly stating that party insiders and rebels damaged BJP’s prospects and they were responsible for the defeat of his daughter Rohini Khadse from Muktainagar seat in Jalgaon district and former minister and veteran leader Gopinath Munde’s daughter Pankaja Munde from Parali constituency in Beed district. He expected by this time the party should have taken stern action against such leaders but surprised over its inaction.

Khadse is sulking since he resigned in 2016 in the wake of corruption charges. His defence is that neither the BJP led government nor the party were able to prove charges against him. He is also furious over BJP for not giving any substantial reasons for keeping him outside the ministry and thereafter not giving him party nomination from Muktainagar which he represented since 1990 onwards in a row.

Khadse on Saturday submitted enough evidence of anti-party activities by some leaders from Jalgaon district to state BJP chief Chandrakant Patil with a warning that if no action is taken he will have ne compelled to explore some option including leaving the party. However, Patil tried to pacify Khadse and assured that necessary action will be taken soon and hinted that he will not leave BJP but continue to play a major role in its functioning.

Some party functionaries admit that Khadse’s outburst is against the style of functioning of former chief minister Devendra Fadnavis as he is being held responsible for denying party candidature to veterans including Khadse, Prakash Mehta, Chandrashekhar Bawankule, Vinod Tawde and Raj Purohit. Khadse had already pointed out that had Fadnavis and the party given due responsibility of campaigning to those leaders it would have benefitted.  Fadnavis in now the leader of opposition in the state assembly and some insiders believe that it will be huge challenge for him in particular to avoid internal wrangling and neglect of OBC leaders in particular.

Furthermore, some leaders from Congress and NCP, who were inducted by BJP ahead of assembly election, have already sent signal to their mother parties for ‘’Ghar Vapsi’’ as BJP is no more in power. This will be further embarrassment for BJP and Fadnavis in particular.0