Fadnavis orders probe into scam charges against his 2 ministers, bureaucrat

Chief minister Devendra Fadnavis however turned down the Opposition’s demand to sack housing minister Prakash Mehta and industries minister Subhash Desai

Chief minister Devendra Fadnavis however turned down the Opposition’s demand to sack housing minister Prakash Mehta and industries minister Subhash Desai

In the backdrop of the clamour from opposition ranks seeking the resignation of the two, Mr Fadnavis announced that the Lokayukta will conduct an inquiry into the Slum Rehabilitation Authority (SRA) project in which housing minister Mehta is facing accusations of corruption and an independent probe into the alleged MIDC scam against industry minister Desai.

Maharashtra Industries Minister Subhash Desai on Saturday offered to resign after corruption allegations were levelled against him.

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In Mr Mehta's case, opposition leaders were alleging Mr Mehta's signed decision in Tardeo MP mill compound case was against interest of state and for developer's benefits. "This is also an attempt to show people that he will not let any allegation pass of without an inquiry", NCP spokesperson Nawab Malik said. Fadnavis said the additional FSI of 25 square meters was given despite knowing that construction was complete and it was not possible to use additional FSI in the same building. "All the permission in MP Mill compound were given in between 1999-2004". He also alleged that Eknath Khadse was meted out a different treatment and that Mehta and Desai are being shielded by the CM.

Shiv Sena president Uddhav Thackeray defended Desai, who belongs to his party.

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"Nonetheless, we will probe if land was denotified to favour builders or for some other reason".

Fadnavis had assured the state legislature Friday night that an independent probe would be initiated into Desai actions in the controversy. "As per the property card the land is owned by defence and how can the previous government permit additional FSI on the defence plot", Fadnavis said.

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Fadnavis also announced an SIT probe into the charges against bureaucrat Radhesham Mopalwar, who was accused of demanding bribe. "This government has denotified only 7,734 hectares of land and it does not mean that corruption has happened in this case", Fadnavis added. "At this rate the entire cabinet including myself will have to go home", said Fadnavis. The opposition members were continuously asking for an inquiry against both the ministers by a sitting judge of the High Court. "If Fadnvais is saying that if a land that is not acquired yet can be denotified, then will the government denotify the 3 acre land in Bhosari which was not acquired by the MIDC as it has not been acquired yet", asked Khadse.

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