Union minister Raosaheb Danve on Friday hit out at his former party colleague Eknath Khadse, who is now set to join the NCP, saying that the latter was "not an original BJP worker".
Danve's statement comes two days after he praised Khadse for his contribution towards building the BJP in the state and also for his "long career" in the party.
Khadse, who had been sulking since he was made to resign as a minister in 2016 in the then Devendra Fadnavis-led BJP government over corruption charges, left the saffron party on Wednesday. Since his resignation as a minister, Khadse had largely been sidelined in his party.
Maharashtra NCP chief and state minister Jayant Patil had on Wednesday said Khadse will join the Sharad Pawar-led party.
Talking to reporters, Danve said, "Khadse was part of the Congress(S) in the late 1970s. Sharad Pawar, who was a Congresss leader then, had organised a rally from Jalgaon to Nagpur, in which Khadse had participated as a worker of that party."
"Khadse was never an original BJP worker...I am an original BJP worker and also senior to him," Danve added.
He also refuted Khadse's charges that the state unit of the BJP has become "one man's organisation".
"I used to discuss several contentious issues with Devendra Fadnavis when he was chief minister. Fadnavis even agreed to some of these issues, hence it is unfair to say that the BJP is being run by a single person," Danve said.