Senior BJP leader Eknath Khadse, who had earlier reiterated that the saffron party was "his family", sung a different tune on Wednesday when he hinted at an exit from the outfit. In a Leva Patil community function at Bhusawal in Maharashtra, the former revenue minister said that no one has a permanent stamp of any party and no one should take this for granted, India Today reported. Khadse hails from the Leva Patil community and Bhusawal is his stronghold.
His statement also gains importance as Congress has openly invited him to join the party more than once.
Congress MP Ulhas Patil was also present at the function and he invited Khadse to join his party at the event. Patil also said how "great injustice" has been done to Khadse. Earlier, Maharashtra Congress chief Ashok Chavan had also invited Khadse to join the party in January, 2018.
"There is no alternative to staying united. Politics has to be set aside while carrying on the struggle of life. Whether it is my party (BJP) or his (Congress), no one has a permanent stamp which makes him stay in the same party....no one can predict that...do not take that for granted," said Khadse as he spoke at the function.
Land scam and resignation
Khadse, who was a minister in the Devendra Fadnavis government, had to resign in 2016 following allegations of corruption and impropriety in Maharashtra Industrial Development Corporation in Pune. Subsequently, he had also been attacked by BJP's ally Shiv Sena.
In January this year, the sulking leader alleged that he was being forced to quit the party by some of his party colleagues and dared the government to prove his involvement in any wrong-doing. "If I have done anything wrong, the government should prove it and bring it out before people. I need an answer now. I don't wish to leave the party, however, some people are trying to push me out," Khadse had said, speaking at an event in Jalgaon, his hometown. He had spoken in the presence of Chavan, who had said that Congress was ready to welcome him and not wait till "the BJP ousts him".
Khadse had been awaiting political rehabilitation ever since. He was also kept out of the recently-held state municipal polls in Jalgaon and Dhule, which are his turfs.
Quashing of Khadse's FIR against activist Anjali Damania
Khadse has lodged an FIR against anti-corruption activist Anjali Damania for allegedly maligning his image by submitting "false affidavits" in a PIL filed against him in the Bombay High Court. He had alleged that Damania had misguided the HC by furnishing "false proofs".
"When I received the copy of the PIL filed against me, I was shocked to see that she had shown two cheques worth crores as having issued by me. My signature had been forged and other documents produced in the court too had been forged," the senior BJP leader had said.
On November 20, 2018, the Aurangabad bench of the Bombay High Court, however, quashed Khadse's FIR.
Another huge huge victory!
2nd fraudulent FIR filed against me by Ex Min Eknath Khadse has been quashed by Aurangabad High Court bench of Just Nalawade & Just Kankanwadi. Do whatever you want Mr Khadse I will NOT back off. More you harass, the more determined I will be to fight
— Mrs Anjali Damania (@anjali_damania) November 19, 2018
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Updated Date: Dec 26, 2018 14:26:53 IST