Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar has welcomed former BJP leader Eknath Khadse's induction into the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP), saying his entry will energise the Sharad Pawar-led party.
Taking to Twitter, Ajit Pawar said Mr Khadse's leadership will help expand the party in the Khandesh region (north Maharashtra) and also in other parts of the state.
Mr Khadse, 68, is a native of Jalgaon district in Khandesh.
Ajit Pawar's comments came amid reports that his absence at a party event to induct Mr Khadse indicated he was unhappy over the development.
NCP chief Sharad Pawar trashed the reports earlier in the day after Mr Khadse and his daughter Rohini joined the NCP.
Ajit Pawar has been in home quarantine as a precautionary measure, though he has tested negative for COVID-19.
"I welcome the state's senior leader honourable Mr Eknathrao Khadse in NCP from the bottom of my heart. Mr Khadse and Ms Rohini's entry into the NCP will definitely energise the party," Ajit Pawar tweeted in Marathi.
He also said that the seniority and experience of those who joined the NCP with Mr Khadse will definitely be respected in the NCP.
Eknath Khadse quit the BJP on Wednesday.
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