Revenue Minister Eknath Khadse on Tuesday knocked the doors of the BJP to elicit support, following unsavoury developments leading to the arrest of his personal assistant Gajanan Patil on charges of corruption.
BJP state president Raosaheb Danve held a meeting with Khadse at the party headquarters at Nariman Point in Mumbai.The one-to-one meeting lasted almost 45 minutes, where he tried to explain his stand on the matter. At the end of the meeting, Danve said, “Khadse has not done anything wrong. He is not involved in any land or money transaction.”
Notwithstanding the BJP’s decision to support Khadse, the last 48 hours saw the ruling party and its government battling with corruption charges.
Despite his assertion of innocence, not a single Cabinet minister of the BJP or Shiv Sena or any elected members (MLAs) was ready to come in defence of Khadse in the last two days. The BJP top leaders in the state and the Centre were also upset with the developments.
A senior BJP functionary said, “Khadse’s aggressiveness on television interviews was not necessary. A senior and experienced leader, he should have ordered the sacking of his personal assistant and allowed the ACB to investigate.” The BJP functionary added, after all, nobody had “directly accused Khadse in the alleged bribe case. By getting aggressive, he spoiled his own case”.
Khadse said, “I have done nothing wrong. I want the investigation to be completed.” He asserted that no wrong was committed as neither was any land allocated nor funds transacted.
However, a delegation of Congress party led by Sachin Sawant meet ACB officials seeking the arrest of another officer on special duty Umnesh Mahajan, working in Khadse’s office.
Sawant said, “We would also like to know why it took eight months for investigating agencies to make the first arrest of his personal assistant Gajanan Patil.” Congress spokesperson demanded to know whether there was any pressure from the government to go easy on the case.