MUMBAI: The Shiv Sena on Thursday joined opposition parties in demanding the resignation of revenue minister Eknath Khadse over a string of controversies. The BJP ally also targeted chief minister Devendra Fadnavis, saying it was time he came clean on the issue.
Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut said, “Khadse should resign on moral grounds. If he is innocent, he should be reinstated in the cabinet. This has been the tradition among state and national leaders. We ourselves forced ministers of the Congress and NCP government to resign.”
He added, “The allegations are very serious. The calls from Dawood Ibrahim and the MIDC land scam need to be investigated thoroughly.” Raut recalled the case of Shiv Sena leader Suresh Jain, Khadse’s rival in Jalgaon, who is currently in jail for corruption. “It is because of Khadse that Sureshdada has been in jail for the past four years. How can the rules be different now?” he asked.
He also said that the controversies have sullied Fadnavis’ image. “Fadnavis enjoys a clean image. As the leader of the state he should show courage and clear all doubts. If he feels Khadse is innocent, he should publicly state that Maharashtra has never seen as clean a leader as Khadse,” he added.
The BJP reacted angrily, calling it an internal matter. “We do not need the Sena’s advice on Khadse as our leaders are competent enough to deal with the matter. They should not interfere in our matters,” said state BJP chief Raosaheb Danave.