A day after his supporters clashed with water resources minister Girish Mahajan over listing his name on an invitation card, senior BJP leader and former revenue minister Eknath Khadse skipped official meetings of chief minister Devendra Fadnavis held in Jalgaon, Khadse’s home turf.
Khadse went to receive Fadnavis at the airport but decided not to attend any official engagements despite being an MLA from the district.
Fadnavis was in Jalgaon to inaugurate the completion of the remodelling of the old barrage Bandhara (bund) on Kag River in Jamner tehsil. He then inaugurated the commercial complex at Jamner, providing shops to around 426 small, medium businesses and new administrative building of Panchayat Samiti and Zilla Parishad Marathi medium school, apart from performing ‘bhoomipujan’ (laying foundation stone) for new building of tehsil office, four-lanning of internal roads of Jamner and water supply scheme too.
But Khadse wasn’t seen accompanying the CM at any of the events. His absence is being seen as an indication that all is not well in the BJP. Khadse was very upset with CM Fadnavis and the party high command after being removed from the state cabinet following charges of impropriety. Since then, the Jalgaon strongman can be seen targeting party leaders at multiple occasions.
On Saturday, his supporters raised slogans and questioned Mahajan at the district BJP meeting after discovering that Khadse’s name was not listed on top, along with chief minister and Mahajan on the invitation card for Sunday’s official function. The meeting was convened to plan the CM’s events.