Maharashtra Assembly polls: BJP makes peace with rebel OBC leader Eknath Khadse, fields daughter Rohini from his Muktainagar seat

The BJP on Friday released its fourth list of seven candidates for the 21 October Maharashtra Assembly polls, dropping senior leader Eknath Khadse and cabinet minister Vinod Tawde.

It fielded Eknath Khadse’s daughter Rohini from his Muktainagar constituency in north Maharashtra. The decision to field Rohini Khadse indicates the BJP succeeded in placating her father, who had been representing Muktainagar since 1991.

Eknath Khadse. PTI

One of the senior-most BJP leaders in Maharashtra, Eknath Khadse had been sidelined in the party following allegations of corruption and that he misused his office in a land deal.

He had to resign as revenue minister in 2016 and has not been taken back into the Cabinet by Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis. Party sources said it was made clear to him that he would not be given ticket this time.

Khadse, 67, had filed his nomination papers from the seat this week as an Independent candidate.

The party also dropped cabinet minister Tawde and fielded Sunil Rane from Borivali seat. BJP and Shiv Sena are the main constituents of the ruling alliance in Maharashtra.

The last date of filing nomination papers for the polls to the 288-member assembly is 4 October, while the date for their scrutiny is 5 October. Nominations can be withdrawn till October 7.

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