The Congress attacked Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday over allegations of corruption against his party colleague and Maharashtra revenue minister Eknath Khadse, asking why the charges were not being investigated.
Khadse -- number two in the state cabinet and holding around 10 key portfolios -- has been accused of corruption by different Opposition parties, which have demanded his sacking or resignation.
A Pune-based businessman-cum-activist charged Khadse with misusing power and authority, subverting laws, bypassing norms, evading tax and pressuring officials in closing a land deal to benefit his family members.
On Thursday, Congress spokesperson Randeep Surjewala said Khadse was being protected by his party. “Khadse is accused, not by the Congress, but by Maharashtra industries minister also who said that industrial land belonging to the Maharashtra Industrial Development Corporation was illegally purchased for Rs 3.21 crore, when it was for Rs 40 crore,” Surjewala told ANI.
“Modi ji says ‘na khaonga na khaane doonga’, then why no action against senior BJP leader Eknath Khadse?” the Congress said.
“Eknath Khadse must be immediately sacked. A case must be launched against him,” former Maharashtra chief minister Prithiviraj Chavan was quoted by a television channel as saying.
Maharashtra chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis has been summoned to the national capital by the BJP top brass to discuss further course in the matter.
Trouble mounted another notch for Khadse as the BJP said that a decision would soon be taken regarding his fate in the party.
“With new facts out, Eknath Khadse is under a cloud of suspicion and the party is sure to take a decision soon,” former Mumbai police commissioner and BJP leader Satyapal Singh told ANI.
Khadse has rubbished all the charges levelled against him.