Days after he went to the Enforcement Directorate (ED) for questioning in the Pune Maharashtra Industrial Development Corporation (MIDC) land deal case, Nationalist Congress Party leader Eknath Khadse, on Friday, took an aggressive posture against the Bharatiya Janata Party and threatened to play a ‘confidential’ CD against a few of its leaders. Khadse, who had left BJP and blamed former Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis for ruining his political career, had joined NCP in October last year and warned, “If anybody uses the ED against him, then he will bring out the 'confidential' CD against them.”
He had said it clearly alluding to the often repeated charges that the BJP lets loose central agencies like the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), the Enforcement Directorate, the Income Tax Department, and others to hound its political opponents.
“At the time of joining NCP, I had said that in a lighter vein. But now, the ED inquiry has been initiated against me, so I will play the CD,” said Khadse. Even though Khadse did not name BJP, he had targeted the latter at a time when an ED probe against him was underway. Khadse was speaking at the party rally in the home turf of former water resources minister and his rival Girish Mahajan.
Khadse once again defended the entire transaction of the Pune MIDC land, saying that it was without irregularities. The ED’s probe is based on an FIR filed by the state Anti-Corruption Bureau (ABC) in April, 2017, against Khadse, his wife Mandakini, son-in-law Girish Choudhary and others. It is alleged that the land was purchased in the name of Khadse’s wife and son-in-law for Rs 3.75 crore, much lower than the market price of Rs 40 crore.
Incidentally, the Bombay High Court has extended Khadse’s interim protection from coercive action till February 17 in the Pune MIDC land deal case.