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Sena leader Arjun Khotkar joins Shinde camp, says ‘compelled by circumstances’

Shiv Sena leader and former Maharashtra minister Arjun Khotkar. File

Shiv Sena leader and former Maharashtra minister Arjun Khotkar. File | Photo Credit: Vivek Bendre

Shiv Sena leader and former Maharashtra minister Arjun Khotkar on Saturday said he has joined Chief Minister Eknath Shinde's faction due to certain "circumstances and problems." He had resigned from his post as a deputy leader of the Uddhav Thackeray-led Shiv Sena, Mr. Khotkar told reporters here. "Due to some circumstances and problems, I decided to leave Shiv Sena. I have no grudges or resentment towards Thackeray. Certain circumstances compelled me to leave the party," Mr. Khotkar said.

He spoke to Mr. Thackeray and the latter told him that he could join the Shinde faction if that was going to solve his problems, he said.

Mr. Khotkar was a minister in the Devendra Fadnavis-led BJP-Sena government between 2016 to 2019. He was recently promoted as a Shiv Sena deputy leader by Mr. Thackeray.

The Sena had given him a lot and he had worked to strengthen the party in the Jalna district, an emotional Khotkar said.

He purchased the Jalna sugar factory for the welfare of farmers and had taken a loan for it, he said.

“I asked Chief Minister Eknath Shinde to support me to start the factory and he gave assurance that he will help,” Mr. Khotkar said.

He also had a meeting with local BJP MP and Union Minister Raosaheb Danve and staked a claim for Lok Sabha ticket from Jalna, he said.

In June, the Enforcement Directorate had carried out searches at the Jalna sugar factory and attached assets worth ₹78.38 crore in connection with its probe into the Maharashtra State Co-operative Bank scam.

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Printable version | Sep 11, 2022 11:08:12 pm | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/sena-leader-arjun-khotkar-joins-shinde-camp-says-compelled-by-circumstances/article65702913.ece