Mumbai: BJP chief Amit Shah has reportedly asked Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra 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 a land deal and his cell phone number appearing in the call records of India's most wanted gangster Dawood Ibrahim.
NDTV on Thursday reported that in keeping with the BJP's "zero-tolerance for corruption" policy, party chief Amit Shah, has asked the party's Maharashtra unit for a detailed report on the charges against Khadse.
It also said that Shah has ordered CM Fadnavis to "handle the Khadse issue" at the earliest.
"It was expected he 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 has denied any links with Dawood.
It 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 for about three crores, when its market value is reportedly 23 crores.
Meanwhile, a media report citing sources said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi is reportedly very 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.