Maharashtra BJP leader Eknath Khadse will join the NCP on Friday, State Minister Jayant Patil said on Wednesday, ending speculations about the senior BJP leader jumping the ship. Khadse was sulking since he was made to resign as Minister in 2016 in the then Devendra Fadnavis-led BJP Government over corruption allegations.
Speaking to reporters here, Patil, who is the State NCP chief, said that with the joining of a seasoned leader like Khadse, who is a former minister and ex-Leader of Opposition in the State Assembly, the Sharad Pawar-led party will be strengthened, particularly in the Khandesh region. Khadse, who is believed to have strained ties with Fadnavis, comes from Jalgaon district of the Khandesh region. “Since he has quit the BJP, he will join the NCP at 2 pm on Friday. I am sure this will strengthen the NCP,” said Patil, who is the State’s Water Resources Minister.