Maharashtra ACB clean chit to BJP leader in land scam

Pune, May 1 (IANS) In a major relief to Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader and ex-Minister Eknath Khadse, the Maharashtra Anti Corruption Bureau (ACB) gave him a clean chit in an alleged land scam, official sources said on Tuesday.

The ACB filed its final report in a court here to say that the allegations of “misuse of power and position as Minister” in the Bhosari MIDC land deal have not been proved.

It said the contention that the state suffered a huge revenue loss in the purported deal was also not proved.

The most senior state BJP leader, Khadse lost ministership in June 2016 following a complaint lodged by former Aam Aadmi Party leader Anjali Damania.

Reacting to the development, Khadse reiterated on Tuesday that he had done no wrong and that the case was without basis or merit.

“The allegations against me were levelled with malicious intent. They have been proved false. Those who levelled charges against me have fallen flat on their faces. I don’t want to discuss how some people very close to me betrayed me, but I will continue to work in the same spirit as before,” Khadse told media persons in Mumbai.

On his re-induction in the Cabinet by Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, he said: “I will abide by whatever decision the party takes.”

Damania said she would challenge the ACB clean in the Bombay High Court.

“This is how the BJP saves their corrupt ministers. I had given all proof in the Bhosari land (deal) to the ACB in August 2017,” Damania said.

On January 25, a peeved Khadse attended a Congress function and demanded from the BJP leadership as to what corruption he had indulged in and how much wealth he had accumulated so far even as several Congress leaders tried to get him into the party fold.