Hours after Eknath Khadse resigned as the Maharashtra Revenue Minister over a land deal, the Congress on Saturday said the “resignation drama” would not suffice and demanded the registration of a criminal case against him for “misuse of public office”. The party also demanded a judicial inquiry into his alleged terrorist links.
The Congress said the charges against Khadse, who is considered to be close to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, were of serious nature. He was accused of being in touch with Dawood Ibrahim and is alleged to have purchased land, acquired by state-owned Maharashtra Industrial Development Corporation (MIDC), at a throwaway price.
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“Resignation drama alone will not do. What is the charge against Eknath Khadse who is a very senior BJP leader and is close to Narendra Modi? The clear-cut charges are that he was talking to the dreaded and most-wanted terrorist Dawood Ibrahim. The charge is that he has taken government land for a pittance of Rs 3.21 crore while it is valued at nearly Rs 30 crore to Rs 40 crore.”
“The charge is that he as a minister himself presided over a meeting and ordered double compensation for that land, direct beneficiaries of which were his own family members. Would these charges get washed away by his mere resignation?… A criminal case should be registered against Khadse for misuse of public office, if necessary under provisions of the Prevention of Corruption Act. A fair and independent judicial probe must be held into the terrorist links of Khadse, if any,” said Congress communication department head Randeep Surjewala.
Attacking PM Modi, he said: “Is this the nationalism that Modi used to speak about and is this the zero tolerance for corruption and cleansing of politics that he used to talk about? These are pertinent questions that need to be answered.”