Tainted BJP minister Eknath Khadse resigned today morning. The party asked him to quit following corruption charges, one of which is about facilitating purchasing of a government land for his family.
BJP's central leadership which was given a factual report on Khadse, reportedly aked the minister to stay away from Cabinet till inquiries absolve him of all charges. Apparently, Khadse wasn't ready to quit and has been defending charges, albeit without any effectiveness.
The most serious charge that Khadse faced, which the party found difficult to defend, is that he facilitated his own family in purchasing a government-owned land in 3-acre land in Bhosari, Pune, in April this year. The government has said the land was acquired for setting up industrial units.
Other than the Shiv Sena, the Congress, the NCP and the Aam Aadmi Party, social activist Anjali Damania has opened a frontal attack on Khadse. Damania sat on an indefinite fast at Azad Maidan yesterday. The Congress and the NCP have demanded Khadse’s removal from the cabinet.
Leader of the opposition in the assembly and Congress leader Radhakrishna Vikhe-Patil said the BJP is trying to get Khadse to resign on his own. He demamded that impartial inquiries be held in all scams.
Damania has compiled a series of allegations supported by documents. She said she will break her fast only when Khadse is made to face the law of the land and faces inquiry.
Khadse is accused of being in touch with underworld don Dawood Ibrahim. An ethical hacker from Gujarat has alleged that calls were made to Khadse from Ibrahim’s Karachi home. The Bombay High Court admitted a petition on May 30 filed by the hacker. The hearing of the case is on June 6.
The minister is dogged by multiple allegations. Earlier this month, the state Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) had arrested an alleged Khadse aide, Gajanan Patil, on the charge that he had demanded a bribe of R30 crore for land allotment.