Swabhimani Paksha sacks minister Sadabhau Khot for supporting ‘ally’ BJP | mumbai news | Hindustan Times
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Swabhimani Paksha sacks minister Sadabhau Khot for supporting ‘ally’ BJP

The party sacked its lone minister in the state government, Sadabhau Khot, on Monday for campaigning for its ally Bharatiya Janata Party in the Panvel civic polls

mumbai Updated: Aug 07, 2017 16:58 IST
Faisal Malik
Khot is the minister of state for agriculture and was considered number 2 in the party after Shetti who is Member of Parliament from Kolhapur district.
Khot is the minister of state for agriculture and was considered number 2 in the party after Shetti who is Member of Parliament from Kolhapur district. (FILE)

National Democratic Alliance ally Swabhimani Paksha, led by farmers’ leader Raju Shetti, seems to be headed towards a split.

The party sacked its lone minister in the state government, Sadabhau Khot, on Monday for campaigning for its ally Bharatiya Janata Party in the Panvel civic polls, even though Paksha supported the Shiv Sena.

Khot is the minister of state for agriculture and was considered number 2 in the party after Shetti who is Member of Parliament from Kolhapur district.

The decision was taken by a three-member committee formed under leader Dashrath Sawant in June to look into complaints against Khot.

While the party urged Khot to resign, the decision does not have to comply with it. Reason: He was elected the member of the legislative council from the BJP quota in June last year. So his fate depends on chief minister Devendra Fadnavis.

Khot has refused to comment on the development. Fadnavis, too, is yet to react to it.

There are speculations that Khot may join the BJP or float a separate outfit.

Read: Is NDA ally Swabhimani Paksha heading for a split?

Earlier, Khot got into a spat with the party chief over his actions. He skipped the party’s Mumbai-Pune long march organised in May to demand farm loan waiver.

Swabhimani Shetkari Sangathana is a powerful farmers’ organization that supported the BJP through its political arm ‘Swabhimani Paksha’ in 2014.

Both Shetti and Khot were considered young peasents leaders in the farmers’ outfit led by the late Sharad Joshi. Later, they formed their own outfit which now may split and affect their party as well. Shetti, who had actively participated in the farmers’ agitation for loan waiver may also quit the NDA in retaliation.

Shetti has been openly criticising the Centre and the state government, accusing them of not protecting interests of farmers and also held a six-day ‘repentance march’ from Pune to Mumbai for supporting the BJP in the state Assembly and general elections in 2014.

Announcing the decision on Khot, Sawant said they will now decide on continuing its support to the Fadnavis government in seven days.