Khadse skips ED appearance, says he has COVID-19 symptoms

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Mumbai, Dec 30 (PTI) NCP leader Eknath Khadse said he did not appear before the Enforcement Directorate (ED) here on Wednesday in response to its summons as he has COVID-19 symptoms.

He was awaiting results of coronavirus test and the ED has agreed to give him more time, the former BJP leader said in a statement.

The central agency on December 26 asked Khadse, who joined the NCP recently, to appear before it in connection with a land deal of his family in Bhosri area near Pune.

He said he was having fever, cold and dry cough since December 28.

'I have undergone a COVID-19 test and reports are awaited. As per medical advise, I need to take rest for 14 days,' he said.

The ED authorities agreed to give him 14 days' time and he will cooperate with the probe after recovery, he added.

Khadse, who was a senior cabinet minister in the previous BJP-led government in Maharashtra, had to step down in 2016 after it was alleged that he misused his position to facilitate purchase of government land by his wife and son- in-law.

Khadse maintained that the state Anti-Corruption Bureau and Income Tax department had found no irregularities in the transaction but he would nevertheless cooperate with the ED. PTI MR KRK KRK