Amid widespread speculation, senior NCP leader Eknath Khadse said on Saturday that he was bracing for summons from the Enforcement Directorate (ED) pertaining to a land deal case in Pune.
However, 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 had not received any official communication so far from the ED.
“However, I have heard from multiple sources that some notice from the ED is on way, and it concerns the Bhosari land deal in Pune,” Khadse, 68, told media persons.
Appearing unfazed, Khadse – who issued a veiled warning to the BJP in October that “if they have the ED, I have the CD” – said that he was “mentally prepared to face a probe by any agency” since he has not committed any wrong.
The NCP reacted sharply to the developments, with party spokesperson Nawab Malik slamming the BJP for allegedly 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.
On his part, Khadse said that he found the series of probes against him amusing, particularly since the ED is known to intervene only in cases of Rs 100 crore and above.
“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 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 inquired 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 since then remained in political wilderness till he joined the NCP.