Mumbai, May 14: A man claiming to be the personal assistant of Maharashtra Revenue Minister Eknath Khadse has been arrested by the ACB for allegedly demanding a bribe of Rs 30 crore over a land allotment matter. Gajanan Patil, who calls himself the PA of Khadse, was arrested here yesterday.
The complainant, Ramesh Jadhav, an economist, wanted an NOC from Khadse's office, for which Patil had demanded bribe.
An official from the state Home Department, requesting anonymity, said Patil had sought a bribe of Rs 30 crore from Jadhav, who had approached Khadse's office seeking a review of the previous government order regarding allotment of a revenue land in Nilje village in Kalyan taluka of Thane district.
"A social and educational institution called International Society for Excellence had bought 37 hectares in Nilje in 2004.
Ramesh Jadhav, the trustee of this organisation was in touch with Patil to obtain an NOC in this regard as the papers of the deal had been burnt in the fire at Mantralaya," the official from the Home department said.
"Patil had first demanded a flat and Rs 1 crore to get his work done, but slowly his demands kept on increasing. The ACB was thus approached and Patil was caught red-handed just outside Mantralaya," the officer added.
Meanwhile, Khadse distanced himself from the controversy and said Patil was only a worker from his constituency Muktainagar in Jalgaon and was not employed officially or in private capacity by his office. "Patil is not employed in any capacity with my office.
If he has misused my name and is found guilty, strict action should be taken against him.
This man is a resident of my constituency and keeps bringing people from Jalgaon to Mumbai for medical treatment. He is thus known to me," Khadse said.
The land in question was allotted to the state Transport Department for a vehicle inspection centre on March 29, 2014.