MUMBAI: Shiv Sena leader and minister of state Arjun Khotkar, who is facing allegations of corruption levelled by AAP, today said he has urged Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis to conduct an inquiry into the charges against him.
Khotkar has submitted a letter to Fadnavis asking for detailed probe into the matter.
The Minister of State for Textile, Animal Husbandry, Dairy Development and Fisheries, who met Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray this morning, later said he has decided to file a defamation case against the AAP leader for "maligning" his image.
Addressing a press conference here two days back, AAP national spokesperson Preeti Sharma Menon had alleged a Rs 525-crore scam in Jalna Agricultural Produce Market Committee (APMC) under the chairmanship of Khotkar. She accused Khotkar of "looting" the APMC and treating it like his fiefdom.
Menon had claimed that Khotkar had siphoned off Rs 500 crore by selling 1500 shops owned by the APMC to merchants.
She demanded that a probe be conducted by a retired judge of high court.
Late last evening, Khotkar met chief minister Devendra Fadnavis and submitted a letter stating that a probe be conducted against him.
"I am representing Jalna assembly constituency since 1990. I had been elected (to the Assembly) four times and this is the fifth term," Khotkar said in his letter.
"I have been heading the Jalna APMC since 2008. My image along with other directors of the APMC has been maligned as Aam Aadmi Party leader Preeti Menon made baseless allegations against me," Khotkar added.
"I urge you to conduct a detailed probe against me,", Khotkar further stated.
During his meeting with Thackeray, Khotkar apprised his party about the allegations and the "facts" of the case.
After his meeting, Khotkar told reporters that he has decided to file a defamation case against Menon.
Meanwhile, Menon said, "We have no faith in the chief Minister. Ministers, who were charged of a scam and an inquiry demanded against them have been given a clean chit by the CM."
"In the Khotkar case as well, same decision will be taken and therefore, we demand a probe by a retired judge of high court," she said and added that she would meet the CM and submit documents and the proofs against Khotkar.
When asked about Khotkar's decision to file defamation suit against her, she said that she was ready to face any action against her, if she was proven wrong.