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The  BJP has dropped some  top leaders from its list of candidates for Maharashtra election. Former minister Eknath Khadse, cabinet minister Vinod Tawde and another former minister Prakash Mehta have been denied from party ticket.

State minister Chandrakant Bawankule has refused to accept the party’s decision to change his seat but is likely to come on terms. Former Mumbai BJP president Raj Purohit and MLA also has been dropped and his seat is given to ex ncp leader Rahul Narvekar.

The choice of Mr Narvekar is linked to the BJP’s attempts to reel in his father-in-law and senior Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) leader Ramraje Nimbalkar.

Mr Khadse had represented Muktainagar, his home turf in since 1991.  the BJP today named his daughter Rohini Khadse for the Muktainahar constituency, Mr Khadse has been sidelined for some time by the BJP amid charges of irregularities when he was a minister in the Devendra Fadnavis government. He had to resign as revenue minister in 2016.

Mr Khadse has emphatically denied reports that he is heading to the opposition Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) of Sharad Pawar. “I’ve not met or had any conversation with Sharad Pawar for a year. I don’t know why is he spreading the false story of me joining NCP or even contacting him. I don’t know what responsibility party the BJP will give on me but I’ll stay dedicated worker of the party,” Mr Khadse said this morning.

Nervous after being left out of many lists, the 67-year-old had filed his nomination papers from his seat earlier this week as a candidate. He is likely to withdraw his candidature.Speaking to reporters yesterday, Mr Khadse had said, “I had told workers and others in the past too that I will contest the election if my health was in good shape.”

He added: “I am the worker who follows orders of the party. I have obeyed the party over the past 40-42 years. The orders may have been bitter for me, against my will, but I have followed the orders.”

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