The Congress will welcome disgruntled BJP leader Eknath Khadse if he takes a call on quitting the saffron party, the grand old party's Maharashtra unit chief Balasaheb Thorat said on Friday. Khadse, who lost his ministership in the previous Devendra Fadnavis government in 2016, has spoken publicly about his alienation over the past few years, his swipes at the state leadership getting stronger after the BJP's lacklustre performance in the October Assembly polls.
"He (Khadse) is our friend. We have been sharing relations for years. I have said this earlier too, we will welcome a personality like Natha Bhau (as Khadse is fondly referred to) in our party if the situation comes to a head for him," Thorat told reporters in Mumbai.
The Congress leader made the comment after chairing a meeting in Mumbai to discuss the party's preparedness ahead of the Nagpur, Washim, Akola, Dhule and Nandurbar Zilla Parishad polls.
Meanwhile, another Congress leader and state minister, Nitin Raut said a "big earthquake" may hit the BJP during the Nagpur Assembly session, set to begin on December 16.
"Wait for the session, a big earthquake may hit the BJP," he told Marathi news channel ABP Majha without going into details.
Khadse was denied a ticket from Muktainagar, in Jalgaon district, by the BJP for the October 21 Assembly polls, and his daughter Rohini, who was fielded in his place, lost, leading to the former levelling conspiracy allegations over the defeat.