Even as senior BJP leader Eaknath Khadse had to resign as the state’s revenue minister in an unceremonious manner, the party strongman from North Maharashtra continues to enjoy clout, going by the scenes at the Maharashtra BJP meet on Saturday.
Khadse was supported by both chief minister Devendra Fadnavis and Union minister Venkaiah Naidu. Fadnavis said he was confident that the senior leader will successfully pass through the ‘agnipariksha’ while Naidu said opposition parties were making baseless allegations.
Several party leaders preferred to maintain a silence over the issue. Party workers were also curious to know whether Khadse will stay away from the meeting or will he participate, according to sources.
Khadse, however, arrived at the meeting well before the scheduled time and was seen exchanging pleasantries with the leaders. He was also given a prime position in the first row on the dais.
Khadse said he was waiting for all those who made allegations against him to submit proof.
“Nobody is coming forward”, he said and added that he will file a defamation suit against all those people. “I won’t spare even the media”, he threatened. He said he resigned as the minister not because of the allegations against him but because he thought that the party should not suffer because of him.
Party spokesperson Madhav Bhandari said that Khadse continues to be a senior party leader.
“Not a single allegation has been established against him so far”, Bhandari said. “He is a respected leader of the party.”