New Delhi: Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis on Thursday submitted a “factual report” to BJP president Amit Shah regarding the graft allegation against his Revenue Minister Eknath Khadse after the issue has become a political flashpoint, with a key government ally demanding his resignation.
“The party (BJP) will direct us on further steps that need to be taken on the basis of the report,” Fadnavis told reporters after his meeting with Shah on the Khadse issue at the party headquarters here.
“I have given a factual report on the recent developments (regarding Khadse) to Amit Shah ji, and also held discussions on the same,” Fadnavis said.
Earlier, Shah had asked Fadnavis to “handle the Eknath Khadse issue at the earliest”, raising speculation that his resignation may be just a matter of time.
Khadse, the senior most minister in the state Cabinet, has been embroiled in two major controversies involving an illegal land deal and his phone number appearing in the call records of India's most wanted gangster Dawood Ibrahim.
NDTV on Thursday reported that in “keeping with BJP's 'zero-tolerance for corruption' policy,” party chief Amit Shah, has asked the party's Maharashtra unit to submit a detailed report on the charges against Khadse.
It also said that Fadnavis was asked to "handle the issue" at the earliest.
"It was expected he (Khadse) may resign on Monday, but he didn't. The central BJP is mounting pressure. He will have to give in. There is little room for defiance now," NDTV quoted a senior BJP source as saying.
Citing BJP sources, the report however said that the party “feels” that the allegations over Dawood phone link “are not substantial”.
Khadse had denied any links with Dawood.
The NDTV report said that the bigger concern for the party is over the sale of a government-owned land in April to Khadse's wife and son-in-law.
It is alleged that the land was sold to them for only about three crores, when its market value is reportedly 23 crores.
Meanwhile, another media report, citing sources, said, that Prime Minister Narendra Modi is upset with the allegations against Khadse.
On Thursday, demands for Khadse's resignation grew stronger with Shiv Sena, one of the key allies of the ruling BJP in Maharashtra, has asked him to step down from the Cabinet on moral grounds.