The SSS has expelled Sadabhau Khot from the party and now want him expelled from state cabinet as well.
Mumbai: After expelling MoS (agriculture) Sadabhau Khot, who was its lone representative in the state cabinet, from the party, the Swabhimani Shetkari Sanghatana (SSS) has issued an ultimatum to the BJP on removing him from the council of ministers. However, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is not willing to remove Mr Khot from the council of ministers and has instead offered the SSS another ministry.
The SSS chief and Member of Parliament Raju Shetti wrote to chief minister Devendra Fadnavis, saying: “Mr Khot has nothing to do with our party now. He must be expelled from the council of ministers.” The tussle between Mr Shetti and Mr Khot is believed to have resulted in the latter’s expulsion from the party.
Senior minister Chandrakant Patil rejected Mr Shetti’s demand on Friday, saying: “Mr Khot is a minister from the CM’s quota. He is doing good work so there is no need to change him now,” said Mr Patil in Kolhapur. Mr Patil further said that if Mr Shetti wants BJP can give his party one more ministerial berth. “Mr Shetti needs to ask for that. We are ready. He is our alliance partner.”
Even Mr Khot called Mr Shetti’s demand unreasonable. “I have become MLC and minister from BJP quota. So there is no logic in demanding my removal from the cabinet as I am not member of Mr Shetti’s party,” he said. He also challenged Mr Shetti to contest Lok Sabha election outside his constituency. “He will get to know his popularity if he leaves Hatkanangale,” said Mr Khot.
The SSS has been a strong organisation in western Maharashtra and had challenged the Nationalist Congress Party’s hegemony in the region. But after joining hands with the BJP, fractions in the party came to the fore. Mr Khot, an ambitious leader, who is now trying to project himself as farmer’s leader in the region and the BJP too is trying to encash on his popularity. Observers believe this new fraction in the strong farmer’s outfit, would make region’s politics more multicornered.