MUMBAI: Deputy CM Devendra Fadnavis‘s arch-rival in politics, 71-year-old Eknath Khadse, is headed back to BJP from NCP (SP).
It had become clear that Khadse would be returning to BJP after he toned down his criticism of the party and refused to contest the Lok Sabha poll as an NCP (SP) nominee from Raver against his daughter-in-law, Raksha Khadse, who currently represents the constituency as a BJP MP.
It was learnt that Sharad Pawar was going to declare Khadse as a candidate from Raver but he declined. Khadse quitting NCP (SP) to rejoin BJP would be a setback for Pawar, who stood by him in his hour of crisis when he was facing an inquiry from the Enforcement Directorate.
Though Khadse neither confirmed nor denied a return to his old party, a BJP politician said his coming back was a question of time. The politician said Khadse had been behind building BJP in the North Maharashtra re and would be welcomed back.
“The BJP leadership is seized of Khadse’s case. He will soon be readmitted in the party honourably,” he said.
Following his differences with Fadnavis and facing charges of graft and abuse of office, Khadse had quit the cabinet on June 3, 2016.


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