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Lokayukta gives clean chit to Eknath Khadse

Clean chit given by Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis to former revenue minister Eknath Khadse has invited heavy criticism from the opposition parties. But, it has come to fore that the Lokayukta and the Anti Corruption Bureau had given a clean chit to Khadse well ahead of the CM.

Fadnavis, while speaking at the state BJP conclave last week at Pune, had expressed confidence that Khadse would emerge clean from the probe into allegations against him. “I am confident that Nathabhau (Khadse) will emerge clean from this “Agnipariksha”.

But, it has now emerged that Lokayukta Justice (Retd) M L Tahaliyani too had given clean chit to Khadse in the bribery case involving his ‘PA’ Gajanan Patil and closed a complaint in the case, much before than that of Fadnavis.

Actually, the Lokayukta’s clean chit had came a week before Khadse resigned from the ministry over what he had termed as the “Media Trial” in cases including alleged irregularity in buying an MIDC plot at Bhosari in Pune.

Allegations of corruption against Khadse started after the ACB arrested GajananPatil, who claimed to be Khadse’s PA from outside the Mantralaya gate last month for allegedly demanding aRs 30-crore bribe from Mumbai-based entrepreneur Ramesh Jadhav in a land allotment matter.

The Lokayukta heard the complainant and senior ACB officials on May 27, before passing the order the same day. “At least 12 recordings of the conversation between the complainant (Jadhav) and GajananPatil were made,” the Lokayukta report said.

“The transcription doesn’t indicate that either the Revenue Minister Eknath Khadse or any of his employees were involved in the alleged demand made by the accused GajananPatil,” the Lokayukta said, adding “the complaint needs to be closed” and is accordingly closed.

“The complainant has many other grievances aga-inst the Government including lacklustre attitude of the Government to his request for allotment of land for educational purpose and other work,” the Lokayukta said.

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