The Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) might have enough evidence to arrest former revenue minister Suresh Dhas after his assistant was arrested for allegedly taking a bribe of Rs 23 lakh from a businessman a couple of days ago, but they are likely to wait before taking any firm action against him. The reason is that Dhas belongs to the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) might need NCP’s support on the confidence vote that is likely to happen in the state on November 12.
Former revenue minister Suresh Dhas
The case so far
Dhas has been in trouble since Vaibhav Andhale, his former assistant, was caught taking a bribe of Rs 23 lakh from a Pune-based businessman for clearing a land problem. Andhale later handed Rs 1 lakh to desk officer Sanjay Suradkar and Rs 50,000 to Suradkar’s assistant Devidas Dahiphale and kept around Rs 21.5 lakh with himself. Later, the police arrested Dr Mahesh Naikude of All India Institute of Medical Sciences in Delhi, as he too was an agent in the case. On Saturday, Ram Khade, BJP, Yuva Wing Secretary of Asthi, Beed, submitted more documents to ACB. “We have submitted a list of cell numbers used by Dhas which he used during his tenure as the revenue minister. The call records will provide more details,” said Khade. ACB officials had also recovered a number of files pertaining to various hearings of the revenue department from his residence a couple of days ago.
Though sources in the ACB said that they did not need any permission to arrest Dhas, now they are collecting evidence and investigating his role in the case. But it is believed that till the confidence voting is not over, the BJP government will not take any risk by allowing an NCP minister to be arrested as they are still in the process of negotiating with Shiv Sena and the NCP is the only support for them. While speaking to mid-day earlier, Dhas has denied his involvement in the case.