NEW DELHI: As the fate of Maharashtra minister Eknath Khadse who is facing graft allegations hangs in balance, the Congress today piled pressure on the BJP for his dismissal to prove Prime Minister Narendra Modi's claim of "zero tolerance" to corruption.
But the BJP's Maharashtra unit president Raosaheb Danve ruled out any "party action" against the minister till the charges against him are proved.
The hunger strike of activist and former Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader Anjali Damania demanding probe into corruption charges against Khadse, meanwhile, entered its second day.
"Take action against Khadse, dismiss him forthwith from his Ministry, register a case against him for misuse of office and take decisive action", party's chief spokesman Randeep Surjewala told reporters in Delhi.
Surjewala attacked the Prime Minister for maintaining a "deafening silence" in the last 24 months on the issue of action against corruption where BJP Leaders or their own Governments are involved.
"People of Maharashtra and India demand that Prime Minister breaks his studied silence and takes decisive action on all these issues including Khadse", he added.
Maintaining that Khadse, a Revenue minister, would face action if the allegations against him are proved in a court of law, Danve claimed there was "no pressure from the party high command" to remove him from the state cabinet.
Terming allegations against Khadse as "political" in nature, Danve told reporters in Pune that the party has adopted a "cautious approach towards them", adding "we believe that there is no substance in them."
Asked about Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis's meeting with party president Amit Shah and Prime Minister Narendra Modi yesterday over the Khadse issue, Danve said, "the chief minister submitted his report to Shah. But that does not necessarily mean that the report was against Khadse. It could be in his favour also."
Khadse, who is in his home town Jalgaon in North Maharashtra amid political heat, has denied all allegations against him and said he would abide by the party decision in his case.
Khadse, a senior BJP leader, has come under cloud over allegations including irregularities in a land deal in Pune and calls allegedly received from fugitive don Dawood Ibrahim's residence in Karachi on his mobile phone.
He is in a spot over the purchase of 3-acre Maharashtra Industrial Development Corporation land in Bhosari allegedly at a low price of around Rs 3.75 crore from its original owner in the name of his wife and son-in-law. The market value of the land is reportedly Rs 40 crores.