Shiv Sena leader and former Maharashtra minister Arjun Khotkar on Saturday said he has joined Chief Minister Eknath Shinde’s faction due to certain “circumstances and problems.” He had resigned from his post as a deputy leader of the Uddhav Thackeray-led Shiv Sena, Arjun Khotkar told reporters.
“Due to some circumstances and problems, I decided to leave Shiv Sena. I have no grudges or resentment towards Thackeray. Certain circumstances compelled me to leave the party,” Arjun Khotkar said.
He spoke to Thackeray and the latter told him that he could join the Shinde faction if that was going to solve his problems, he said.
Arjun Khotkar was a minister in the Devendra Fadnavis-led BJP-Sena government between 2016 to 2019. He was recently promoted as a Shiv Sena deputy leader by Thackeray.
The Sena had given him a lot and he had worked to strengthen the party in the Jalna district, an emotional Arjun Khotkar said.
He purchased the Jalna sugar factory for the welfare of farmers and had taken a loan for it, he said.
“I asked Chief Minister Eknath Shinde to support me to start the factory and he gave assurance that he will help,” Arjun Khotkar said.
He also had a meeting with local BJP MP and Union Minister Raosaheb Danve and staked a claim for Lok Sabha ticket from Jalna, he said.
In June, the Enforcement Directorate had carried out searches at the Jalna sugar factory and attached assets worth Rs 78.38 crore in connection with its probe into the Maharashtra State Co-operative Bank scam.