Kakade, has expressed his desire to contest from Pune Lok Sabha seat on multiple occasions, accused district guardian minister Girish Bapat and BJP state unit president Raosaheb Danve of "ill-treating" him.
Stating that Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis is ignoring him at the behest of a couple of senior BJP leaders, Sanjay Kakade, who is a Rajya Sabha member and the party’s associate member, Monday met NCP stalwart Ajit Pawar here, ahead of the Lok Sabha polls. Kakade, who has expressed his desire to contest from Pune Lok Sabha seat on multiple occasions, accused district guardian minister Girish Bapat and BJP state unit president Raosaheb Danve of “ill-treating” him. “Entire Maharashtra knows how I was treated by Bapat and Danve, and how they talked ill about me to Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis,” he told reporters. Kakade said the CM is like a brother to him, “but it seems that he is also not happy with me after listening about me from Bapat and Danve”. “If a brother is listening to someone else and driving me out of house, I will have no option but to look for another home,” he said. Kakade had hogged the headlines for predicting a dismal show by BJP in the 2017 Gujarat assembly elections, but had to eat his words after the party won a majority in the 182-member state Assembly.
An embarrassed Kakade later said he had not factored in the impact of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s “charisma” while making the prediction. Meanwhile, expressing hope that he would get a ticket for Pune seat, Kakade said he would meet Fadnavis for the last time before charting out his future course. When asked whether he would contest as an Independent, Kakade replied in the negative. “It is difficult to contest independently and I am not going to do so. However, I am sure that the BJP will offer me a ticket on the basis of electoral merit. No one is ahead of me (in BJP) in terms of merit,” he said. When asked about his meeting with Ajit Pawar, the nephew of NCP chief Sharad Pawar, Kakade said he met the former deputy chief minister to seek NCP’s support in case he (Kakade) gets ticket for Pune seat. As part of its pre-poll understanding with the NCP, the Congress is likely to get Pune seat. BJP’s Anil Shirole is currently representing the constituency. Responding to a query whether he would seek ticket from Congress, Kakade said he was not a member of Congress party. “I don’t think Congress will consider me,” he added. Meanwhile, Ajit Pawar said he told Kakade that the NCP would support whoever gets a ticket for Pune from the Congress.