Eknath Khadse’s Resignation: Retired HC Judge to Probe Charges
BJP leadership believes that Khadse should resign from his post until he is proved innocent, party sources say.
Eknath Khadse – the tainted Maharashtra Revenue Minister – on Saturday met Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis and submitted his resignation over allegations of his involvement in an illicit land deal and connection with underworld don Dawood Ibrahim. His resignation was sent to Governor C Vidyasagar Rao after Fadnavis accepted it.
A retired High Court judge will probe allegations against Khadse.
Khadse had run out of options after BJP’s central leadership sent a clear and stern message to the 64-year-old veteran from north Maharashtra. Two days ago, Fadnavis had briefed Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the BJP national president Amit Shah in Delhi over the allegations against Khadse, which were leveraged by the Congress, NCP and AAP to embarrass the first BJP-led government in the state.
Even ruling ally Shiv Sena had demanded Khadse’s ouster. Sena spokesperson Sanjay Raut today said it was ‘inevitable’ that Khadse submit his resignation. “We have sympathy for Khadse. State BJP chief Raosaheb Danve had given Khadse a clean chit. Now, it should be known what led Khadse to resign,” Raut said.
‘Show Me the Proof’
I’ve been in politics for 40 years now, and I have never seen such kind of a media trial. I have requested CM to investigate the issue. If you (media) have proof, then you can also provide it. No one has been able to give any proof till now.Eknath Khadse
The Dawood-Khadse Connection
Khadse has been accused by a 27-year-old hacker Manish Bhangale of taking calls from absconding underworld don Dawood Ibrahim from Karachi.
Bhangale claimed to have hacked the authentication process of the Pakistan Telecommunication Company in April this year and acquired the telephone records of underworld fugitive Dawood Ibrahim.
On Monday (30 May), Bhangale filed a petition in the Bombay High Court seeking protection for himself, and a CBI probe against Khadse. Bhangale’s advocate sought an urgent hearing, claiming that the petitioner has been receiving death threats. The high court, however, held there was no urgency for a vacation bench to hear the petition.
Khadse ‘Misused His Authority’ to Purchase Land
On the same day, Hemant Gavande, a construction firm owner, filed a complaint against Khadse for “misusing his authority” to a purchase a three-acre plot of land in the names of his wife Mandakini and son-in-law Girish Chaudhari. The land had earlier been acquired by the Maharashtra Industrial Development Corporation (MIDC).
We will conduct an inquiry into the MIDC land deal allegedly involving Khadse and others. Based on the outcome, we shall seek experts’ opinion and decide about further action.Ajit Chaudhary, Inspector (Crime), Mumbai Police to TOI
Khadse’s position was further compromised by a sting operation conducted by a news channel, which allegedly shows Khadse putting pressure on the police to register a case against Gavande.
Resignation of Khadse Was Inevitable: Prithviraj Chavan
Stating that Eknath Khadse was forced to resign as he was facing serious charges of corruption, Congress demanded a high level investigation into the allegations against the BJP leader.
Only resignation will not do. We want a high level judicial inquiry into the scams involving Khadse. We don’t trust this government, which may sabotage the investigation. It is good that he has resigned. But it is a delayed decision. The BJP had no option since the charges against Khadse like the MIDC land deal and Dawood call allegation are very serious in nature.Ashok Chavan, Maharashtra Congress chief
Congress leader and former chief minister Prithviraj Chavan said the resignation of Khadse was inevitable.
The real political decision, however, is how high a level the government would take the matter, he said.
Former AAP leader Anjali Damania, who is on a hunger strike demanding Khadse’s resignation for the last three days, said this was the initial victory for her after exposing Khadse’s wrongdoings.
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