Mumbai, Sep 2: Former Maharashtra Revenu Minister Eknath Khadse, who had resigned following a string of allegations of corruption against him, will soon return to the cabinet, BJP state president Raosaheb Danve said today.
"Khadse is the leader of entire Maharashtra. Even though Khadse is not in power, his presence is very much there in the government. He will soon return to the state cabinet," Danve said during a rally at Khadse's native Muktainagar in Jalgaon district.
Khadse, during the rally, virtually a show of strength by him, launched a veiled attack on Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis and his cabinet colleague Girish Mahajan, both of whom were not present there.
Drawing an analogy from cricket, the BJP veteran said, "Like a seasoned cricketer, I (Khadse) slogged it out only to find a new kid taking the honours." Also, without naming Mahajan, the Minister for Water Resources, Khadse said he was "pained by having to fight against his own men" from within his party.
"I strived to change the face of BJP from being a party of traders to one that found acceptance across all sections of the society. Whether I am in power or not, I have enjoyed love and affection of party cadres," he said.
Khadse, who had quit from the state cabinet in June following a string of allegations including irregularities in a land deal, said he had tendered the resignation to ensure that the party's image was not tarnished.
Asserting that he had faithfully served BJP, Khadse said he has in the past campaigned for the party on bicycles as well, but his 40 years of dedication was shattered by baseless allegations.
"Not a single allegation against me has been proved as yet. There is a limit to which anyone can be targeted. They destroyed my career and broke my devotion," Khadse said.