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05 Aug 2020, 15:58 HRS IST
  • PTI
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  • Disgruntled Khadse lands in Delhi; meets Sharad Pawar

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21:53 HRS IST

(Eds: Updates with Khadse's quotes, other details)

Mumbai, Dec 9 (PTI)
Maharashtra BJP veteran Eknath Khadse, who has been critical of the state leadership post- assembly polls, on Monday spoke about being "humiliated" and "ignored" by the party as he landed in Delhi to meet central leaders amid mounting speculation over his next move.

Later in the evening, he met NCP chief Sharad Pawar, a Raja Sabha member, in the national capital and claimed their interaction centred around irrigation issues.

Khadse also said he will Maharashtra Chief Minister and Shiv Sena president Uddhav Thackeray on Tuesday.

Khadse resigned as revenue minister of the erstwhile BJP government in 2016 over land grab allegations.

The 67-year old, who has been vocal of late against some of the party's decisions after the BJP's below par show in the October Assembly results, was denied a ticket.

"Khadse has sought appointment with senior leaders of the BJP in Delhi. The chief talking point of his meeting would be about ending his alienation in the party," said a close aide of the former minister.

The aide claimed Khadse's treatment by the party was causing "unrest" in the OBC leadership, and this, too, may be discussed with Delhi leaders.

Khadse belongs to the Leva Patil community, which is part of the Other Backward Class (OBC) category in the state.

Besides meeting Pawar, Khadse spoke over the phone with Maharashtra BJP in-charge Bhupendra Yadav.

Speaking to Marathi news channel 'ABP Majha', Khadse said, "I had received many offers to switch over earlier in my life, but never accepted one, and continued working for my party's expansion. However, after attaining power, I've been humiliated constantly and ignored as well."

"Despite no allegation proved against me, no clean chit has been given to me," he added.

Asked about the reason for meeting Pawar, Khadse said, "I met him with some irrigation-related issues. During the meeting, Pawar enquired about the defeat of my daughter from the Muktainagar (in his home district Jalgaon) Assembly seat."

Last month, Pawar played a key role in bringing leaders of the Congress and the Shiv Sena together to form Maha Vikas Aghadi government in which his party is also a key constituent.

Khadse was denied an Assembly ticket for the October polls, but his daughter, who was fielded in his place in the last minute, lost to Shiv Sena rebel Chandrakant Patil.

Khadse, a few days back had said some BJP leaders in the state had played an active role in defeating OBC leaders and had complained about it to Maharashtra BJP president Chandrakant Patil as well.

He on Saturday had issued a veiled warning to the party leadership, saying he would look at other options if his "humiliation" continued.

The former leader of opposition in the assembly had told reporters that he had been been kept out of the core committee's meetings and decision-making process of the state BJP.

"I am not God. I am a human being and have emotions.

I don't want to leave the party for whose growth I worked hard for more than four decades. I am still ready to work for the party," the former minister had told reporters.

"But If I continue to face humiliation of being kept away from decision-making, I will have to think differently," he had warned.

On Wednesday last, Khadse had made a veiled attack on former chief minister Devendra Fadnavis for the less-than- expected seats bagged by the BJP and blamed certain party leaders for the defeat of his daughter Rohini (Muktainagar) and ex-minister Pankaja Munde (Parli) in October 21 polls.

Khadse, once considered as the No. 2 in the Fadnavis cabinet, is a leading BJP figure from North Maharashtra and also a prominent OBC leader of the party.

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