Mumbai, Jul 8 (IANS): Appearing before the Enforcement Directorate (ED) for the second time on Thursday, senior Nationalist Congress Party leader Eknath Khadse claimed he and his family members are being "politically targeted" in the alleged corruption cases against him.
"The case against me is politically motivated. My and family members and I are being targeted politically to defame us. However, I am cooperating fully with the probe agencies," he said, while going to the ED office in Mumbai for the probe into the Pune land deal case.
The ED summoned Khadse, 68, a day after arresting his son-in-law Girish Chaudhary in connection with the alleged money-laundering and other irregularities in the purchase of a plot of land in 2016.
Khadse added that entire Maharashtra is witnessing what is going on, as the case has already been probed five times, the Anti-Corruption Bureau had given him a clean chit, yet it is being investigated again.
The ED has contended that Khadse and Chaudhary had bought the government-owned plot at Bhosari near Pune for Rs 3.75 crore against the prevailing market rate of over Rs 31 crore.
The agency also suspects that Khadse, as then Revenue Minister in the BJP-led government, had reportedly misused his official position to force the officials concerned into the transaction for his family, and contended that the source of funds for the deal was not genuine as the money had been routed through shell companies.
A former senior Bharatiya Janata Party leader, Khadse was shunted to the political wilderness for almost five years following political differences with the then Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, and he joined the NCP in October 2020.
"I left the BJP and joined the NCP, that's why I am being harassed like this. It's a political conspiracy," Khadse hit out, speaking briefly to the media outside the ED offices.
Meanwhile, after interrogation on Wednesday, Chaudhary was produced before a Special Court which has sent him to ED custody.