Opposition Congress and NCP demanded ouster of Maharashtra Revenue Minister Eknath Khadse, whose PA was arrested by the ACB in a land allotment case.
The Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) officials had, on Friday, arrested Gajanan Patil, who claimed to be Khadses personal assistant, for demanding Rs. 30 crore from economist Ramesh Jadhav, who had sought an NOC from Khadses office regarding the land allotment at Nilje village in Kalyan taluka in Thane district.
Khadse had claimed that the value of the two plots of land in question was Rs. 5.53 crore and Rs. 77.40 lakh respectively and there was “no question of anybody” demanding illegal gratification of Rs. 30 crore.
However, Congress spokesperson Sachin Sawant today said as per the current ready reckoner rates, the value of the 10.7 hectares in Kalyans Nilje village is Rs. 152 crore.
“The minister (Khadse) had recently said the value of the concerned land in Nilje village is Rs. 5 crore, so there was no question of demanding a bribe of Rs. 30 crore. But, as per the R R rates, he is blatantly lying. The current value of the land is Rs. 152 crore,” Sawant told reporters here.
“If you go as per the market value of that piece of land, it goes upto Rs 405 crore. There are many business houses requiring such tracts of land. Can the government not make money by officially giving the land to them,” he asked.
Meanwhile, NCP spokesperson Nawab Malik said ACB action on Gajanan Patil, Khadses PA was only under pressure from the Lokayukta.
“Dr. Ramesh Jadhav had filed the complaint seven months back, but the ACB kept dilly dallying. This shows the government was protecting Khadse. The CM should immediately intervene and ask the minister to step down until he is proven innocent,” Malik said.
He added that Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis should immediately convene a special cabinet meeting and accept the recommendations of Justice (retd) P B Gaikwad to give teeth to the Lokayukta.
Two days back, Khadse had said that he would file a defamation suit against the complainant who has a “tendency” to level corruption charges.