Mumbai: Following the BJP’s failed bid to form the government in the state, the anti-Devendra Fadnavis camp within the party has become active.
Senior leader Eknath Khadse on Wednesday slammed the decision to form the government with the help of NCP leader Ajit Pawar. “My personal opinion is that BJP should not have taken the support of Ajit Pawar. He is an accused in the massive irrigation scam and faces many allegations, so we should not have allied with him,” said Mr Khadse.
When pointed out to Mr Khadse that the BJP had earlier claimed to have proof of the corruption charges against Ajit Pawar, he said, “There was a cartful of evidence but it seems we dumped it in scrap.”
The former revenue minister, who resigned in 2016 over allegations of corruption, said that leaders like him, Chandrashekhar Baw-ankule, Vinod Tawde and others were “deliberately” not given tickets and were also kept out of the state election campaign.
“I worked very hard for the party, but I was deliberately kept aside by denying a ticket. I accepted the decision, but we were even denied a role in the party campaign. This decision cost the party dearly. Had we been involved in a better way, the BJP could have won at least 20 to 25 seats more,” Mr Khadse claimed.
According to sources, the fiasco has dented the image of Mr Fadnavis, who had positioned himself as the BJP’s tallest leader in the state and future contender for a national leadership role. The anti-Fadnavis camp is also expected to raise the issue with the BJP high command.
The BJP and Sena, which fought last month's Assembly polls in an alliance, secured a comfortable majority by winning 105 and 56 seats, respectively. The Sena, however, broke its three-decade-long ties with the BJP after the latter declined to share the chief minister's post. It has now decided to form the government with the help of the NCP and Congress.