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  Metros   Mumbai  26 Jan 2018  Congress extends ‘friendly’ hand

Congress extends ‘friendly’ hand

Published : Jan 26, 2018, 1:11 am IST
Updated : Jan 26, 2018, 1:16 am IST

Chavan publicly invites BJP leader Eknath Khadse to join party

Ashok Chavan and Eknath Khadse shared the dais at a function on Thursday.
 Ashok Chavan and Eknath Khadse shared the dais at a function on Thursday.

Mumbai: Sulking Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Eknath Khadse received a public invitation to join the Congress from the party’s state chief Ashok Chavan at a non-political programme on Thursday, where the two leaders were sharing the dais. Speaking at the event, Mr Khadse said that he was being isolated in the state BJP, to which Mr Chavan said that he was the BJP leader’s friend.

Speaking at the function, Mr Khadse raised many questions for the BJP. “There was an anti-corruption inquiry against me. Not just one but three matters. Have they found anything wrong? Have I done any illegal thing? Then why I am being cornered?” he asked. He continued in the same vein, saying, “I have worked for 40 years for this party. I have zero will to leave the party. But now they are pushing me out. If this is going to happen, then what will I do?” 

Mr Chavan quickly picked up on Mr Khadse’s anger and immediately made him an offer to join the Congress. “Nathabhau, why you are feeling alone? You are a real leader with self-pride. Ups and downs are a part of life. I can tell you now that if you feel the need, then we are there. The decision is up to you now. But I assure you that we will be there for you.” 

Reacting to Mr Khadse’s statement, the Nationalist Congress Party state chief Sunil Tatkare said, “It’s not just Khadse, but there are many others who want to leave the BJP now. Very soon the long list of such leaders will come out.”  

Mr Khadse had resigned from Devendra Fadnavis’s cabinet last June over allegations of corruption. He has since been feeling sidelined in the party. The buzz is that the CM is not keen on including him again in the cabinet. He is also facing an ACB inquiry and FIRs have already been lodged against him. 

An upset Mr Khadse has been publicly slamming the BJP for the last six months. At the legislative session in Nagpur, he aggressively attacked the BJP government on the floor of the house. All of this has only added more steam to the buzz about his quitting the BJP soon. Even Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut predicted that Mr Khadse won’t be in BJP for too long. 

Tags: eknath khadse, ashok chavan, devendra fadnavis, sunil tatkare, sanjay raut