Former AAP leader Anjali Damania on Thursday launched a hunger strike demanding an inquiry into allegations of corruption against Maharashtra Revenue Minister Eknath Khadse and sought his ouster from the state cabinet.
Meanwhile, Congress spokesperson Randeep Surjewala asserted that Khadse, who has been caught in one dispute after another, was being protected by his party as he was still scot free despite having several cases against him with concrete proofs.
Damania, who met social activist Anna Hazare on Wednesday to seek his blessings before beginning with the hunger strike, reached Azad Maidan for the fast here.
She also demanded that the inquiry be completed within six months and the case be heard by a fast-track court.
“There are so many corruption allegations against Khadse and the government should take action regarding this. I met Anna and showed him all the documents against Khadse. Anna said it is a grave issue and assured me that he will call the chief minister and bring it to his notice. I also sought blessings from him before beginning the fast,” Damania said.
“I won’t give up my fast till the chief minister gives me a written assurance that the probe against Khadse will be completed in six months,” she said.
The activist had alleged that Khadse’s son-in-law had been flouting norms while modifying his car Limousine without seeking proper permission from the Regional Transport Office (RTO).
There were also allegations that Khadse had received calls from underworld don Dawood Ibrahim’s residence, she said.
Damania claimed that she wanted to hold the hunger strike near Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis’ official bungalow but was denied permission by the police.
The former AAP leader said this time she wanted the government to take action against the minister and withdraw all the departmental responsibilities from him.
“Whenever we bring corruption cases to the notice, we are told to go to the court. I have already filed PILs in the court on various issues. But then what is the government doing? It should act on the corruption cases. The court will do its duty. But the government should take action against Khadse,” she said.
Asked what action she expects to be taken against Khadse, Damania said the government should conduct an inquiry. “The government should conduct an inquiry into all the allegations against Khadse within six months. It has to be time-bound else it will never reach any conclusion. Also, the cases should be heard by the fast track court,” she said.
Meanwhile, Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis has reportedly been summoned to the national capital by the BJP top brass to discuss further course in the matter.