Mumbai

Eknath Khadse joins NCP

Former Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Eknath Khadse on Friday joined the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) in the presence of party chief Sharad Pawar.

Ruling out the possibility of a reshuffle of the State Cabinet to accommodate Mr. Khadse, Mr. Pawar said the latter had not joined the NCP for any post.

He also rubbished reports that Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar was unhappy with Mr. Khadse’s entry. Mr. Ajit Pawar attended the function virtually as he is quarantined as a precaution though he had tested negative for COVID-19.

“I had offers from other parties as well; I would not lie. But not only my followers but even some BJP leaders advised me that if I had to join another party, then it should be the NCP,” Mr. Khadse said.

Mr. Khadse said no one should show him the fear of inquiry by the Enforcement Directorate (ED). “If you are bringing the ED, then I have a CD to show to all,” he said. He added that there were attempts to destroy his political career. “I did not blame anyone in the BJP but former chief minister Devendra Fadnavis. Fake cases like molestation were filed against me. I recently came out clear from it. I was also accused of grabbing land. Now, I will reveal who has taken how many plots,” Mr. Khadse said, amid sloganeering from his supporters.

The leader from north Maharashtra said that he was extending an invitation to the party leadership to come to Jalgaon after a few months to have a bigger function where his real power would be displayed.

Mr. Khadse, the number two in the cabinet of Mr. Fadnavis, had to resign following allegations of graft in 2016. Since then, he has been sulking and indirectly blaming Mr. Fadnavis for his ouster from the cabinet in a bid to thwart his chances of getting the CM post.

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Printable version | Dec 1, 2020 12:11:57 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/mumbai/eknath-khadse-joins-ncp/article32932940.ece

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