Maharashtra will be holding Assembly polls soon and with the advent of elections many politicians in the state seem to shift allegiances. As many prominent leaders change their loyalties just before the elections former Maharashtra minister Eknath Khadse on Sunday said the Congress-NCP leaders are not saints and they are joining the BJP for their selfish motives.

He also said that Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis has “washing powder” using which he “cleans” such leaders.

Khadse, who had stepped down as the state Revenue Minister in June 2016 over allegations of involvement in a land scam and other alleged acts of impropriety, was talking to reporters in Jalgaon.

“The leaders coming into BJP from Congress and NCP are not saints, but they are doing so for their selfish motives. However, Maharashtra chief minister has washing powder that cleans them completely so there will be no negative impact on the BJP’s performance in the forthcoming assembly elections. people have their trust in the BJP,” he said.

When asked about the large-scale ”recruitment” by the BJP, he said, “There may be difference of opinion about certain leaders, but for strengthening the organisation, such induction should be welcomed.”

Congress MLA Jaykumar Gore from Mann-Khatav segment in Satara, former NCP MP Dhananjay Mahadik, NCP MLA Rana Jagjit Singh Patil from Tuljapur assembly segment of Osmanabad district on Sunday joined the BJP in Solapur in the presence of party president Amit Shah.

When asked about a court in Dhule on Saturday sentencing former state ministers Suresh Jain and Gulabrao Deokar along with 46 others to varying jail terms after convicting them in the multi-crore ”Gharkul” housing scam, Mr Khadse said it was a “welcome” verdict.

Recently, Nationalist Congress Party MP Supriya Sule said her father and party president Sharad Pawar was bound to feel hurt when the leaders who were with him for decades leave the party. Ahead of state Assembly elections, several NCP leaders, including then Mumbai NCP chief Sachin Ahir, quit the party recently and joined the ruling BJP or the Shiv Sena.

Sule told reporters that the leaders who have now quit gained prominence because of the NCP. “Sharad Pawar’s life has been marked by huge struggle. Out of this struggle he built the party. Therefore when the people who were with him for forty years leave, he is bound to feel sad,” Sule said.

She alleged that those leaving the party were afraid that they would be embroiled in some or other inquiry if they did not join the ruling parties

Aam Aadmi Party will also be contesting the upcoming elections. The state in-charge of the party Durgesh Pathak said the party will fight elections on issues like drought, floods, farmers’ distress, and economic slowdown among other things. The party wishes to be a viable alternative option for the people of Maharashtra.