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Eknath Khadse Resigns Over Land Deal, Dawood Row
One of the most senior ministers in Maharashtra government, Revenue Minister Eknath Khadse, who is in the eye of a storm over allegations of corruption, has resigned from the post. Khadse is facing twin charges of an illicit land deal and alleged connection with underworld don Dawood Ibrahim. Khadse, one of the most senior ministers in Maharashtra government came into light 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. Earlier this morning, he met CM Devendra Fadnavis at latter’s residence and submitted his resignation. The latest development comes two days after Fadnavis had met Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP president Amit Shah separately to discuss the corruption charges against Khadse. He had also submitted a report to the party president. Khadse’s wife, Mandakini, and son-in-law, Girish Chaudhari, jointly purchased a three-acre land in Bhosari, near Pune, for Rs 3.75 crore on April 27 this year. But the same records show that they paid Rs 1.37 crore as stamp duty. This works out to close to the stamp duty for a transaction amount of Rs 31.01 crore, the market value of the plot. Khadse’s wife and son-in-law bought the property at Rs 1.25 crore per acre or Rs 3,088.81 per sq m. against the true market value fixed at Rs 25,630 per sq m, an eight-fold increase. The purchase price declared by Khadse’s kin is substantially below the market value determined by the state government for the property, making a strong case of impropriety and discrepancy against Khadse. Corruption charges against Khadse come at a time when Modi government is celebrating its two year in office and claiming to have given corruption-free government.