Members of Leva Patil community mounted pressure on BJP demanding a ticket for senior leader Eknath Khadse on Wednesday, a day after he failed to make a cut in the party's first list of candidates for Maharashtra Assembly elections.
Leaders of Leva Patil, the community Khadse belongs to, held a meeting in Jalgaon where they announced not to support the ruling party in the elections if Khadse's name does not appear in BJP's second list of candidates.
The community is traditionally considered to be the BJP supporter and has a significant presence in Khandesh, Vidarbha, North Maharashtra and other parts of the state.
They said if the BJP does not give the ticket to Khadse, the community would vote to any party Natha Bhau (as Khadse is known among his supporters) goes to.
"Natha Bhau held the BJP flag when a very few people were with the party. Now, he is being denied a ticket for Assembly elections. We are deeply hurt by the BJP's approach. If his name doesn't appear in the second list, we will stop supporting BJP and stand by Natha Bhau," said Leva Patil community head Ramesh Vithu Patil.
He said: "We have a presence in several parts of the state and will make BJP realise what they have done if Natha Bhau is not given the ticket. But before taking any extreme step, we request BJP's state unit president Chandrakant Patil and Chief Minister Devendra Fadanvis to consider our request."
Khadse, a senior BJP leader in Maharashtra, filed his nomination papers from Muktainagar assembly seat in Jalgaon district on Tuesday, despite his name not featuring in the BJP's first list of candidates having 125 names.
The BJP is yet to announced its candidate for Maktainagar constituency.
Speaking to reporters on Tuesday, Khadse had said he filed his nomination papers as there was a good 'muhurta' and was hopeful of getting the party ticket.
Reacting to his filing nomination, Minister Girish Mahajan said several people were filing their nominations in good 'muhurta' and those who did not get the party ticket will ultimately be named to contest elections.
The election will be conducted on October 21 while the counting of votes will take place on October 24 in Maharashtra.
(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)
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