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BJP shouldn’t have ignored its seniors: Khadse

PUBLISHED ON NOV 28, 2019 12:04 AM IST

After its failure to retain power in state, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Eknath Khadse on Wednesday said had the party not ignored senior leaders, it would have easily won 20-25 more seats.

Khadse, Prakash Mehta, Chandrashekhar Bawankule and Vinod Tawde were among the senior BJP leaders and ministers in the previous BJP-led government, who were not given a ticket by the party in the Maharashtra elections this time. “Those who helped this party succeed were left behind. It was my right to walk with the BJP, as I have toiled for the party for 40-42 years,” said Khadse. “Even if the party could not give us tickets, they should not have ignored us.”

He was part of the former chief minister Devendra Fadnavis’s cabinet in the previous government between 2014 and 2016, until he resigned following allegations of corruption.

Calling Fadnavis’s decision to align with Ajit Pawar a mistake, he said, “My opinion is the BJP should not have taken support of Ajitdada Pawar. He is an accused in the massive irrigation scam and faces many allegations, so we should not have allied with him.”

The BJP, in a grand show ahead of the 2014 state elections, had taken a bullock cart full of irrigation scam documents to the Madhav Chitale Panel that was probing the scam at the time. When asked about the fate of that bullock cart now, Khadse said, “The BJP sold the cart full of grave documents in scrap long ago.” BJP spokesperson Madhav Bhandari said, “I have not heard or read what Eknath Khadse said, so I cannot comment. But whatever he has said is his personal opinion.”

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