Maharashtra Revenue Minister Eknath Khadse, embroiled in a string of controversies, skipped the weekly meeting of the Cabinet and was seen moving in his native district Jalgaon in a beaconless car, fuelling speculation.
Khadse left for Jalgaon and was in the Muktainagar Assembly constituency as per a scheduled event.
The senior BJP minister has for the last few days stayed away from media after allegations of impropriety in purchase of MIDC plot in Pune and alleged calls from fugitive don Dawood Ibrahim’s residence to his mobile triggered a political storm in the state.
Meanwhile, the Cabinet meeting, chaired by Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, decided to set up Employee’s State Insurance (ESI) Corporation at state level by converting existing Scheme as per ESI Act 1948 amendments.
The central government will bear all the cost for the corporation for first three years and 90 per cent cost thereafter, Fadnavis said.
“This decision of setting up the corporation will benefit lakhs of workers enrolled with ESI and will get better health facilities,” he said.
The Cabinet also sanctioned additional posts for both Trauma Care Centre at GMC Nagpur and Super Specialty Hospital at Nagpur.
The Cabinet also sanctioned 100 posts for Super Specialty Hospital envisaging a cost of Rs 7 crore per year and 147 posts for Trauma Centre with cost of Rs 4.48 crore per year.
Meanwhile, a delegation of NCP met with Maharashtra Governor Ch Vidyasagar Rao and sought Khadse’s dismissal from the state Cabinet.
The delegation, which included NCP leaders Ajit Pawar, Dhananjay Munde and around two dozen party legislators, said there appeared to be truth in the allegations against Khadse and sought his resignation.
The delegation also sought action against comedian Tanmay Bhat and online comedy group AIB over a mock video on Bharat Ratna singer Lata Mangeshkar and cricket icon Sachin Tendulkar.
Munde told reporters that the party has also demanded loan waive for drought-hit farmers.