Senior Maharashtra leader Eknath Khadse quits BJP, to join NCP on Friday
Senior BJP leader Eknath Khadse has quit the party and will be joining NCP on Friday. The startling announcement was first made by Maharashtra minister Jayant Patil of the Sharad Pawar-led Nationalist Congress Party (NCP).
Eknath Khadse will be joining NCP at an event around 2 pm on Friday. BJP has also confirmed the development and said the party has received Eknath Khadse's resignation letter.
BJP spokesperson Keshav Uphadhye has said, "Eknath Khadse was our leader. Till this morning he was in BJP. We were convincing him to stay. We wish him well for the future journey."
The restlessness in the Maharashtra BJP camp has been visible over the past few months and it is no secret that former minister and party veteran Eknath Khadse has been sulking. But over the past few months, there have been strong rumors that Eknath Khadse is joining the NCP soon.
There has been speculation that Eknath Khadse would be joining the NCP during the Navratri festival. On Sunday, there were talks that Eknath Khadse has resigned from BJP. However, Maharashtra BJP president Chandrakant Patil denied any such development.
"Mr. Khadse hasn't resigned from the party. I am sure he will not take any such step," Patil said. Khadse however kept everyone guessing with his "no comment" reaction.
NCP supremo Sharad Pawar further added fuel to the raging speculation of Eknath Khadse quitting BJP and said, "Khadse's role in building the BJP cannot be ignored. He has worked as the finance minister and also as an effective Opposition leader. He may feel that he may have been neglected in his party, so there may be thoughts of going to a party where his work will be taken note of."