"Conspiracy": Eknath Khadse On Being Left Out Of Maharashtra Council Polls

Eknath Khadse was also denied a ticket in the October 2019 Assembly elections from his home turf Muktainagar in Jalgaon district.

'Conspiracy': Eknath Khadse On Being Left Out Of Maharashtra Council Polls

Eknath Khadse had hoped for a nomination on one of the four BJP seats for the May 21 polls (File)

Mumbai:

Senior leader Eknath Khadse, upset at not being nominated by his party for the Maharashtra Legislative Council polls, on Tuesday dubbed the development a "conspiracy" by certain leaders and launched a frontal attack on state unit chief Chandrakant Patil.

The BJP has been keeping Mr Khadse at arm's length since 2016 when he was made to resign as a minister in the then BJP government headed by Devendra Fadnavis over allegations of corruption.

He was denied a ticket in the October 2019 Assembly elections from his home turf Muktainagar in Jalgaon district.

Though the BJP fielded his daughter, she lost to a Shiv Sena rebel.

Struggling to keep himself politically relevant, Eknath Khadse had hoped that he would be nominated on one of the four seats from the BJP's quota for the May 21 polls to nine council seats.

However, the party denied nominations not only to Eknath Khadse, but also to other senior leaders like Pankaja Munde, Vinod Tawde and Chandrashekhar Bawankule.

Most of them are believed to be detractors of former chief minister Devendra Fadnavis.

"This is a conspiracy against people like me who have served the party for 40 years and others by some 4-5 state leaders who are misleading central leadership," Mr Khadse said.

He accused state BJP president Chandrakant Patil of reneging on his promise of fielding then Kothrud MLA Medha Kulkarni in the MLC polls.

Ms Kulkarni was denied a ticket in the assembly polls to make way for Mr Patil to contest from her constituency in Pune.

"Had her name appeared in the list of BJP nominees, I would have felt nice. This simply means that Mr Patil did not keep his words. However, after nominating NCP's ex-Rajya Sabha MP Ranjitsinh Mohite-Patil, the same Chandrakant Patil says that he had kept his words," Mr Khadse said.

The former minister said he was trying to contact Devendra Fadnavis, the Leader of Opposition in the Assembly, and Chandrakant Patil to find out why he and the others were ignored.

Mr Fadnavis and Mr Khadse don't enjoy a good political rapport.

Eknath Khadse claimed that he knew, by virtue of being a member of the state BJP parliamentary committee, that he would be nominated for MLC polls.

"However, going by the dates of the documents filed by four candidates of the party, it is clear that they knew about their nomination to the Legislative Council in advance," he claimed.

Eknath Khadse also claimed that most of the BJP nominees had written to local authorities seeking no-dues certificates in March itself.

"Against this background, there was no need for our party colleagues to lie to us that I and other leaders would be recommended to the Central committee as prospective nominees," he said.

The elections to nine seats are set to be unopposed with only as many candidates filing their nominations.