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Ex-BJP leader Eknath Khadse joins NCP

Source: PTI  -  Edited By: Hemant Waje
October 23, 2020 17:25 IST
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Former Maharashtra Bharatiya Janata Party leader Eknath Khadse on Friday joined the Nationalist Congress Party in the presence of the party's chief Sharad Pawar.

IMAGE: Former BJP leader Eknath Khadse, centre (in black outfit), joins the NCP in presence of party chief Sharad Pawar and other leaders in Mumbai. Photograph: @praful_patel/Twitter

Sulking since his unceremonious exit from the Devendra Fadnavis-led ministry in 2016 over land grab allegations, Khadse (68) on Wednesday quit the BJP.

The same day, state NCP chief Jayant Patil announced he would be joining the Pawar-led party.

The NCP is part of the ruling alliance in the state along with the Shiv Sena and the Congress, whose Maha Vikas Aghadi government assumed office 11 months ago.

Khadse, former Maharashtra Revenue Minister and also an ex-Leader of Opposition in state assembly, was inducted into the NCP at the partys head office in Mumbai.

 

The leader, who flew in Mumbai on Thursday from his native Jalgaon district in north Maharashtra, was in political wilderness during the last four years, though he quit the BJP only two days ago.

Khadse's formal entry into NCP, scheduled at 2 pm, was delayed by over an hour as Pawar was in a meeting with party minister Jitendra Awhad.

Jayant Patil welcomed Khadse in the party, by offering him a scarf.

Speaking to reporters on Wednesday, Khadse had blamed Fadnavis for "trying to destroy his life" and political career, over three decades of it spent in strengthening the BJP in Maharashtra.

Responding to the charges levelled by Khadse against him, Fadnavis (50) had said his former BJP colleague was speaking "half truth", adding Khadse had painted him a villain while making the allegations against him.

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Source: PTI  -  Edited By: Hemant Waje© Copyright 2020 PTI. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of PTI content, including by framing or similar means, is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent.
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