Published On: Sat, Dec 26th, 2020

ED summons NCP leader Eknath Khadse for quizzing on Dec 30

Mumbai: Senior NCP leader Eknath Khadse said on Saturday that he has been summoned by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) on December 30 in connection with a probe into an old land deal case.

The 68-year-old veteran politician had said that he had heard from multiple sources that some notice from the ED is on the way

The former Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader who quit the party after 40 years on October 23 to join the Nationalist Congress Party said that he would fully cooperate with the ED in its probe at its Mumbai office.

Earlier, the 68-year-old veteran politician had said that he had heard from multiple sources that some notice from the ED is on the way with regard to the Bhosari land deal in Pune.

After joining the NCP, Khadse – who issued a veiled warning to the BJP in October that “if they have the ED, I have the CD” – said he was “mentally prepared to face a probe by any agency” since he has not committed any wrong.

Interestingly, the development comes ahead of the Maharashtra Governor’s much-awaited clearance to the list of 12 MLCs nominated from his quota in which Khadse’s name has been included by the NCP.

Ruling allies Shiv Sena and NCP reacted sharply to the development. Sena chief spokesperson Sanjay Raut and NCP national spokesperson Nawab Malik slammed the BJP for “targeting political opponents through central probe agencies”.

“In the past too, they had targeted our top leaders, including NCP President Sharad Pawar and others. Khadse is a seasoned leader and he will deal with any such situation appropriately,” Malik asserted.

“We are not surprised at all. This was bound to happen,” said Food and Civil Supplies Minister and senior NCP leader Chhagan Bhujbal.

Khadse said that he found the series of probes against him amusing, particularly since the ED is known to intervene only in cases involving Rs 100 crore and above.

Social activist Anjali Damania welcomed the ED notice and urged the agency to thoroughly probe all the scams in which Khadse was allegedly involved.

“The Pune land deal is of less than Rs 4 crore, it was bought by my wife and son-in-law and everything was transparent. Even the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) had probed the deal and given me a clean chit; nothing came out of a commission led by retired Bombay High Court Judge (Justice MD Zoting) which enquired into it. All documents are available,” Khadse added.

A Revenue Minister in then Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis’ Cabinet, Khadse had to quit in 2016 after his name cropped up for alleged wrongdoings in the Pune government land deal, and remained in the political wilderness till he joined the NCP.

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