Tribune News Service
Mumbai, December 7
The Bharatiya Janata Party may suspend senior leader Eknath Khadse from the party after he rejected overtures by state party president Chandrakant Patil on Saturday, according to sources here.
Patil, along with former Water Resources Minister Girish Mahajan, who were in Khadse’s hometown Jalgaon ostensibly for a party meeting on Saturday, sought a meeting to dissuade him from forming a group of Other
Backward Caste leaders within the BJP.
“However Khadse snubbed them and did not attend the meeting,” a senior BJP leader said here. BJP sources say Patil and Mahajan are expected to brief party president Amit Shah on Khadse’s activities.
“There is pressure from a section of the party to take disciplinary action against Khadse for his statements in the media,” a BJP leader said here.
Khadse, who was sidelined by former Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, has teamed up with former women and child development minister Pankaja Munde and former education minister Vinod Tawde to bring together several OBC leaders belonging to the BJP under one umbrella.
“Nearly a dozen OBC leaders from the BJP had met Khadse at his home Jalgaon earlier this week where they decided to participate in Munde’s rally in Parli next week,” a BJP leader said here.
Confirming that prominent OBC leaders from the BJP would be meeting in Parli next week, Khadse told reporters in Jalgaon on Saturday a message would be sent to the BJP leadership.
“The meeting being organised by Pankaja, the daughter of Gopinath Munde, will be a big gathering of top OBC leaders who are unhappy with the BJP,” Khadse said.
Munde herself had indicated on social media recently that she would announce her future plans at the December 12 rally.
According to sources, the Shiv Sena is working to breach the BJP’s support base among the OBC community which was largely crafted by Gopinath Munde and other senior leaders over the last 25 years.
Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray has sent emissaries to meet Munde, Khadse and other leaders sending shockwaves in the BJP.
Shiv Sena’s Rajya Sabha MP Sanjay Raut had earlier indicated that Pankaja Munde and other senior BJP leaders were in touch with the Sena.
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