BJP ignored senior leaders, says Eknath Khadse
Attacking the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), senior party leader Eknath Khadse on Wednesday said had the BJP not ignored leaders such as Prakash Mehta, Chadrashekhar Bawankule, Vinod Tawde, besides himself, it would have won 20 to 25 more seats in the recently concluded Maharashtra elections.
“Those who helped this party succeed were left behind, when we toiled to make this party great. It was my right to walk with BJP, as I have toiled for the party for 40-42 years,” he said.
The BJP won 105 seats in the 288-seat assembly as against 122 it had won in 2014 elections.
Khadse, Mehta, Bawankule and Tawde were ministers and legislators in the previous BJP-led government, who were not given a ticket by the party in the 2019 elections. “Even if the party could not give us tickets, they should not have ignored us,” Khadse said. He was part of former Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis’ cabinet in the previous government between 2014 and 2016, until he resigned following allegations of corruption.
In the state elections, though the BJP-Sena alliance together won 161 seats, they parted ways over seat-sharing differences.
Khadse expressed his disapproval of Fadnavis’s decision to align with Ajit Pawar. He said, “My opinion is that BJP should not have taken support of Ajit Dada Pawar. He is an accused in the massive irrigation scam and faces many allegations, so we should not have allied with him.”
BJP spokesman Madhav Bhandari said, “...whatever he has said is his personal opinion.”