'PA' bribe charge: Eknath Khadse to file defamation suit against Ramesh Jadhav

Mumbai: Days after the arrest of a man claiming to be his personal assistant for allegedly demanding Rs 30 crore as bribe in a land allotment case, Revenue Minister Eknath Khadse today said he would file a defamation suit against the complainant who has a "tendency" to level corruption charges.

Eknath Khadse
Eknath Khadse

The value of the two plots of land in question was Rs 5.53 crore and Rs 77.40 lakh respectively and there is "no question of anybody" demanding illegal gratification of Rs 30 crore, Khadse said.

The complainant, Ramesh Jadhav, had been denied the allotment of the plots by government in the past in accordance with a Supreme Court verdict, he said.

"This man (Jadhav) has a tendency of leveling corruption charges, of which there is a written proof. First, he had alleged corruption by Gram Panchayat, then by Gram sevaks, and then in Mantralaya.
"He had levelled corruption charges against the then Revenue secretary, Urban Development secretary, Transport commissioner, MMRDA officials and RTO officials in the past," Khadse told reporters here.

"When he (Jadhav) was denied the first piece of land, he asked for an adjoining plot, the value of which was Rs 77.40 lakh. The government never confirmed to him that he would be  allotted the plot but he still gave a cheque of the said amount. We had returned his money back stating that even that (adjacent) plot cannot be allotted to him," Khadse said.

He said not a single rupee has exchanged hands since the time Jadhav made corruption charges against Patil. "I will file a defamation suit against him. He cannot be allowed to get away. If he can show proof that this corruption deal involves me, I have no right to remain on this chair. If he cannot prove his charges, he has to face the consequences," the senior BJP leader said.

On Friday, Anti-Corruption Bureau officials arrested Gajanan Patil, who claimed to be the PA of the minister, for demanding Rs 30 crore from Jadhav, an economist, who had sought an NOC from Khadse's office regarding the land allotment in Kalyan taluka in Thane district. The plots were allotted to Transport department.

Khadse had already distanced himself from the controversy, saying Patil was only a worker from his constituency ' Muktainagar in Jalgaon and was not employed officially or in private capacity by his office.

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