Mumbai: In a veiled attack, former revenue minister Eknath Khadse, who was removed from the state cabinet over charges of impropriety, on Friday blamed chief minister Devendra Fadnavis for betraying him.
Khadse said that newcomers were given the opportunity to become ministers when he was the most deserving leader. This is being seen as an indirect attack on the appointment of Fadnavis as the chief minister while Khadse was shunted aside with the revenue portfolio.
The former minister claimed that he has full faith in BJP but asked why he was forced to give up his post of a cabinet minister when he had done no wrong and there was no incriminating evidence found to prove the accusation levelled against him. Khadse later claimed that he had agreed to leave the cabinet in order to protect the party’s image.
He was speaking at a rally in Jalgaon district, his home town, in North Maharashtra. Before that, the BJP heavyweight also held a road show in an attempt to show off his strength on the occasion of his 65th birthday.
“Party workers are disturbed over the outcome of all my hard work of 40 years. I have spent my entire life working with the BJP. It was like a cricketer who struggled his entire life for his team and was the most deserving person to lead the front but instead, a newcomer was given the opportunity,” Khadse said.
He added, “I have struggled to change the party’s (BJP) image from that of a Brahmins (upper caste) to a party of the mass.”
Khadse further dared his detractors, “Mujhse ladhwale achchhe achchhe thak gaye” (Everyone got tired of fighting with me. I am not afraid of anyone.” He then added, “I will not tolerate anything just because I am in a party. This is not my nature.”
Khadse resigned as a revenue minister on charges of impropriety after he was made accused of buying a prime plot of land that belonged to the government body (Maharashtra Industrial Development Corporation) at extremely low rates.