AAP accuses Khadse of inflating land rates, befriending contractors

Revenue Minister Eknath Khadse on Monday found himself in the middle of another controversy after former Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader Anjali Damania claimed that he was not only involved in multi-crore irrigation scam but also artificially inflated prices of land owned by his family.

Ms Damania alleged that Mr. Khadse and his family purchased around 88 acres of original agriculture land at Satod village in Jalgaon district for Rs 79.20 lakh.

The original survey number 225 was first split in to 225/1 with 10.52 hectare bought by Mandakini Khadse (his wife) and Rohini Khadse (daughter) at Rs 18.96 lakh and 225/2 with 24.97 hectare bought by wife, minister and late Nikhil Khadse (son) for Rs 35.52 lakh. According to the papers presented by Ms Damania at the press conference, both survey numbers were purchased on April 30, 2012.

On September 2, 2014, two agreements were executed, selling one plot at Rs 361 per square feet and other at Rs 352.11 per square feet. “This was being done to decide on upper and lower limit of the land rate with average rate being Rs. 365 per sq ft. It meant when it was acquired for lift irrigation project, the Khadse family would get Rs. 63.44 crores for a land they bought for Rs 79.20 lakh,” Ms Damania added.

Irrigation Scam

She alleged that the Minister was also involved in an irrigation scam, along with Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) leader Ajit Pawar and others.

Mr. Khadse was the Minister for Irrigation and Command Area Development from June 1997 to October 1999. The Maharashtra Tapi Irrigation Development Corporation Act 1997 was formally passed in 1998.

“Since then, there has been negligible development of all projects in TIDC. It has become a hub for awarding unfeasible contracts to contractors of choice and convenience,” she said.

Mr Khadse, who also called on Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis minutes before the press conference, replied to the allegation saying all contracts were awarded during the previous Congress- NCP regime and he has nothing to do with any of it.

“We will be waiting for the CM to take action. We want Mr Khadse’s ouster from the cabinet,” said Ms Damania.

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Printable version | May 28, 2022 9:39:25 am |