MUMBAI: Senior Maharashtra politician Eknath G. Khadse on Friday formally joined the Nationalist Congress Party with a veiled warning to the BharatiyaJanataParty, of whose he was a devoted and diligent member for four decades.
"If you have the ED, I will show you the CD..!" Khadse, 68, said in a lighter vein, but clearly alluding to the oft-repeated charges that the BJP lets loose central agencies like the Central Bureau of Investigation, the Enforcement Directorate, the Income Tax Department, and others to hound its political opponents.
In a similar tone, NCP state chief and Minister JayantPatil, while lauding the former north Maharashtra strongman's decision, said it will send a signal to the BJP that "Tiger ZindaHai" and "picture abhibaakihai", hinting at more and many to come after Khadse.
NCP President SharadPawar warmly welcomed Khadse, saying "this is a happy day for the party" who built the BJP in the state for over 40 years.
"We have to strengthen the party in many areas... I am confident that Khadse's long political experience will prove invaluable for us," he said.
The NCP virtually laid out a red carpert welcome for Khadse, his daughter RohiniKhadse-Khevalkar and another 72 prominent supporters who joined the ruling MahaVikasAghadi ally.
The new entrants were lustily cheered inside the auditorium and hundreds sitting on roads outside, watching the proceedings live on giant TV screens, a day after Khadse took a chopper ride from Jalgaon to Mumbai.
Patil said it was unfortunate that such a senior leader was humiliated by the BJP on trumped-up charges despite his contributions to building the party for four decades. Replying to the felicitations, Khadse recounted the "humiliation and torture" he faced in the past four years, for which he has repeatedly blamed former BJP Chief Minister DevendraFadnavis, currently Leader of Opposition. (IANS)