The Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) appears to have prepared its mind to seek resignation of Maharashtra senior most and Revenue Minister Eknath Khadse, who is facing twin charges of an illicit land deal and alleged connection with underworld don Dawood Ibrahim and also looking at the possibility of removing him in case he doesn’t follow the party line.
The development took place after Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis on Thursday met Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP President Amit Shah seperately over the issue.
He also submitted a report to Shah on the charges against Khadse.
“I have submitted a factual report on recent developments to Amit Shahji and also held discussions over the issue. Now, the party will direct us on further steps that need to be taken,” Fadnavis told reporters here after the meeting.
Later, he met the Prime Minister and discussed the situation.
Sources in the BJP said that party leadership is of the view that Khadse should resign from his post untill he is proved innocent.
Fadnavis has been asked to convey this message to Khadse.
The BJP has also planned to remove him if he denies to do so.
“This matter has come at a time when Modi government is celebrating its two year in office and claiming to have given corruption-free government. Under such circumstances, if Khadse doesn’t resign it will send a wrong message among the people,” a BJP leader told media on the conditions of anonymity.
“The party is under moral pressure to ask for Khadse’s resignation,” he added.
Meanwhile, sources also said that Khadse was earlier asked to resign but he had refused.
After his refusal, Shah had summoned Fadnavis to Delhi to discuss the matter.
Sources said that Shah and Fadnavis also discussed the possible repercussions in case Khadse doesn’t resign and revolts against the party.
Khadse, one of the most senior ministers in Maharashtra government, was mired in a fresh controversy this week as a Pune-based businessman accused him, his wife and son-in-law of various irregularities in the purchase of a piece of land.
The BJP’s ally Shiv Sena and social worker Anna Hazare have been mounting pressure for Khadse’s resignation.
The Congress and the Same Aadmi Party has also sought his resignation.
Khadse is also facing allegations that mafia don Dawood Ibrahim Kaskar had made calls to him from his landline number in Karachi, where he is believed to be living as a fugitive.