Khadse In Trouble
Maharashtra Revenue Minister Eknath Khadse was forced to resign on Saturday after facing charges for corruption in a Pune land deal and alleged phone calls to fugitive underworld don Dawood Ibrahim. This has served as the first blow to the Devendra Fadnavis government, which had come to power promising to deliver a corruption-free government.
Fadnavis’ Image at risk
Fadnavis had to terminate Khadse as the government did not have any means of defending him from his blatant violation of rules in the land deal. The resignation was necessary to save the reputation of the government. Rumors are that in some previous situations, Fadnavis had given a clean chit to Khadse – one was related to his personal assistant’s alleged bribe deal, and the other was the exchange of phone calls with Dawood. Fadnavis’ own image is now at risk for helping this corrupt minister. The resignation of Khadse may help Fadnavis reassert his position and serve as a warning to the other ministers of Maharashtra.
Defiant Khadse at last resigns
It has been reported that the defiant Khadse was unwilling to submit his resignation. He, at last, agreed to submit it after BJP national general secretary instructed him to submit his resignation letter to the CM. Fadnavis informed, “I have received Khadse’s resignation and forwarded it to the Governor.”
Governor C.H Vidyasagar Rao accepted his resignation on the recommendation of Fadnavis. Khadse, with senior ministers Sudhir Mungantiwar and Vinod Tawde at his side, announced his resignation. He had to announce his own resignation, as the BJP leaders continued to defend him by claiming him to be innocent. This was a shrewd political plan to negate the possible political unrest if Khadse called for the OBC cardholders to unsettle the organization.
Khadse’s Resignation Speech
A visibly shaken Khadse announced in front of the media:
“I have taken a decision to resign as baseless charges against me are part of a larger campaign to undermine my party and tarnish my image. However, I demand all allegations should be investigated to ascertain the facts in a short period. I am confident I have done nothing wrong, and I would come back.”
Fadnavis has assured that he will appoint a retired high court judge to probe into the matter and inquire about all allegations that have been made against Khadse.
Corruption Should Not Be Encouraged
Khadse may also lose his position in the Cabinet after the elections due on 10th June. It is expected that the other ministers will learn from this incident and will work for their state honestly and responsibly.