New Delhi: Confirming his resignation as Maharashtra's revenue minister, Eknath Khadse on Saturday said that the allegations levelled against him are false and that he would quit his political career if evidence be found against him.
The resignation from the most senior minister in the Devendra Fadnavis government comes after media reports claiming his involvement in twin scandals — allegedly over an illicit land deal and suspected underworld links.
However, presenting a brave face, Khadse, who hails from Jalgaon, strongly refuted all the allegations against him and vowed to prove himself innocent.
“In my political career of 40 years, there has not been a media trial as such before,” said Mr. Khadse addressing a press conference. “All those who are levelling these allegations, I have been asking you to submit evidence against me. But, you haven’t. The day you do so, I’ll put my political career to an end.”
Referring Maharashtra Industrial Development Corporation (MIDC) as an ‘encroacher’, the minister claimed that the body has not even given compensation to the landowner in the last 48 years. “The rule of state government itself states that once the compensation is not paid to the land owner within two years of the land being acquired, then the land goes back to the owner,” the minister said, adding that the land purchased by his family was legal and had no connection with him.
Speaking about the allegation of an "ethical hacker" that his name figured on the regular call lists of absconding mafia don Dawood Ibrahim from his Karachi home, Khadse said that the hacker must be labelled ‘anti-national’ since he hacked into the Pakistan Telecommunication site to get the details. “My phone was cloned and even the police have found no evidence against me,” he added.
Earlier, Khadse met CM Fadnavis at his house in Mumbai and apparently had discussion with him amid speculation of losing his ministerial post over the charges.
Once a claimant to chief minister's post, Khadse was assigned the departments of revenue, minorities development and Wakf, state excise, relief and rehabilitation, earthquake rehabilitation, agriculture and horticulture, animal husbandry, dairy development and fisheries.