Senior BJP leader Eknath Khadse, who quit last week as Maharashtra’s revenue minister over allegations of graft and conflict of interest, was in Delhi on Thursday and Friday hoping to meet the BJP brass and present his case.
He was back in Mumbai on Friday afternoon, having met Union minister Nitin Gadkari. He apparently also called on party senior LK Advani and met BJP national general secretary Ramlal, a former RSS pracharak, but there was no confirmation from Khadse.
Sources close to Khadse clarified that he had not sought any appointment to meet prime minister Narendra Modi or party president Amit Shah.
The senior leader from Maharashtra apparently wanted to put forward his version before the party’s national executive in Allahabad and the state executive later in Pune.
Earlier, Gadkari had refused to intervene in Khadse’s resignation matter with the decision being taken by the top leadership following a report submitted by chief minister Devendra Fadnavis on the land deal in Bhosari (Pune) that involved the senior minister’s immediate family. The RSS leadership in Nagpur had also refused to give Khadse an audience on the issue earlier.
Khadse, the party’s Other Backward Class (OBC) face in Maharashtra, is hoping for a political comeback but rehabilitation looks tough. Much depends on the nature of inquiry promised by Fadnavis at Khadse’s insistence into charges against him as well as the upcoming cabinet reshuffle in Maharashtra.
If an inquiry is set up under the Commission of Inquiry Act as demanded by activists, Khadse may have to remain in political exile for a longer time.
Similarly, Fadnavis is expected to rejig his cabinet team in such a way as to push other younger OBC leaders to the fore, besides giving berths to leaders from Khadse’s home turf in North Maharashtra. For instance, minister of state for home (rural), Ram Shinde, also an OBC, is expected to get a promotion while North Maharashtra may get two ministerial berths.
Late in the evening, Khadse tweeted that his visit to Delhi was personal.
“Visited Delhi yesterday, Agenda was personal and not official. I request all not to politicize it,” he said on Twitter.
“I Have trust and belief in ATS n NIA They will come up with the real truth,” he added.