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Maharashtra Minister of State for Agriculture Sadabhau Khot was today expelled from his party, the Swabhimani Shetkari Sanghatna (SSS).
Dashrath Sawant, who headed enquiry committee set up by the SSS to look into the complaints made by party workers against Khot, announced his expulsion in Pune.
"Allegations questioning his morality recently came to the fore which is causing harm to the party's image, so taking everything into consideration, we have come to the conclusion that he should be removed from the party," said Sawant.
Doubts were raised about Khot's loyalty towards the farmers' cause, he said, demanding that Khot should now resign as the minister, as it was the SSS which had chosen him for that office.
"Raju Shetti (Lok Sabha member and SSS chief) has been apprised of the decision. We were given complete freedom to take the decision. Shetti never interfered with our functioning," Sawant said.
Khot told reporters in Mumbai that the decision as to whether he should stay in the ministry will be taken by Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis.
Asked about his next course of action, Khot said he will take a decision after consulting his supporters.
Relations between Khot and Shetti were strained for quite some time, and speculation was rife that Khot may join the BJP which heads the ruling alliance of which SSS is a part.
Khot was accused of indulging in anti-party activities. He had last month appeared before the party's enquiry committee to put forth his side.
When asked if he would join the BJP, he said, "I will discuss it with my associates.
"I have given everything to this organisation, so I am hurt (by expulsion)," the minister added.