Senior BJP leader and Revenue Minister of Maharashtra, Eknath Khadse was on Saturday at the centre of a fresh controversy with the Aam Aadmi Party alleging that calls were made from underworld don Dawood Ibrahim’s mansion in Karachi to his mobile phone.

Khadse has dismissed the allegations as “baseless” stating the particular telephone number was not in use for last one year. 

However, AAP spokesperson Preeti Sharma Menon claimed otherwise.

“Eknath Khadse lied about his phone being out of service. His number 9423073667 received several calls from Dawood Ibrahim’s wife Mehjabeen Shaikh’s number 021-35871639 between September 4, 2015 and April 5, 2016,” Menon told reporters in Mumbai. 

The AAP leader claimed that CM has asked the Mumbai Police to investigate the matter. AAP also sought Khadse’s removal from the cabinet led by Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis.

“My question is, how did they find out Dawood’s number? If they have found his number, they should have gone to the police,” said Khadse.

Suggesting that the number could have been cloned, he said, “I have asked the CM and Jalgaon SP to probe if any person is using this number. I have also asked the CM to initiate an in-depth inquiry into the Gajanan Patil (his ‘PA’) bribery issue”.

Khadse, viewed as a detractor of Fadnavis, recently found himself in a spot after his ‘personal assistant’ was arrested for allegedly demanding a bribe of Rs 30 crore in a land settlement case.

Mumbai police on Sunday backed Khadse’s claim saying that no calls were made or received on Khadse’s phone from underworld don Dawood Ibrahims number as claimed by the AAP.

“Our initial analysis of the cell phone number (belonging to Khadse) indicated that there were neither outgoing nor incoming calls from this number to that of the fugitive (Dawood) during the entire period of September, 2015 to April, 2016, as stated in the (AAP) press conference,” Mumbai Joint Commissioner of Police (crime) Atulchandra Kulkarni said.

Menon claimed on Saturday that the call details were procured with the help of an “ethical hacker”.

Explaining how he got the call data records, Bhangale said he first went to Dubai and got Dawood’s wife Mehjabeen’s number, hacked it and placed call details request on her behalf to Pakistan Telecommunication Company Limited (PTCL).

(Feature image source: PTI)