After my turn, you are next in line, cautioned recently ousted minister Eknath Khadse to the state Assembly in a debate on corruption tabled by the Opposition on Thursday.
Khadse’s half-an-hour speech drove home the point of a split state BJP unit riven by internal factionalism, with the former minister stressing that he was the victim of false allegations levelled by political non-players, who should not have been taken seriously.
“Today, it’s my turn, tomorrow it will be you. Not a single proof was presented against me but systematically allegations were being made. If this is how politicians get judged then very few will remain sitting in the forward benches on both sides of the Assembly,” said Khadse.
The senior leader had been given a chance to vent his woes as BJP’s first speaker in the debate by the party and chief minister Devendra Fadnavis. But Khadse could scarce avoid a jibe at the former’s expense. Fadnavis walked out of this speech mid way, ostensibly to attend the cabinet meeting.
“No allegation was corroborated by any evidence or proof but we are sensitive so we took note of them. We are transparent..if the Opposition parties had levelled allegations against me, I would have felt this to be justified but those who made the allegations were not people, who can be taken seriously,” said the former minister making reference to activist Anjali Damania, Aam Admi Party spokesperson Preeti Sharma Menon and hacker Manish Bhongale.
He also thanked the Opposition for tabling such a discussion, which he said gave him an opportunity to present this side of the story.
“Finally, I got a chance to present my side of the story. So far, I had no venue to express myself and no one I could share this with,” he said, indicating that he got no opportunity from the BJP.
The Opposition had tabled a discussion on corruption charges against Fadnavis’ cabinet ministers with leader of Opposition, Radhakrishna Vikhe Patil and NCP’s Jayant Patil leading the debate by taking pot-shots at the new cabinet.
Vikhe Patil asked for a commission of inquiry to probe all the charges against the ministers or at least a committee under a retired high court judge.