NCP slams Devendra Fadnavis over Lokayukta probe against minister

Frederick Owens
August 12, 2017

Shiv Sena president Uddhav Thackeray's close aide and industries minister Subhash Desai, who is facing charges of corruption, on Saturday offered to step down from the government. The opposition has alleged that the move was aimed at favouring a particular developer. It was later handed over for maintenance to the state government by the Defence ministry, which had acquired it in 1946. "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.

Mr Mehta had wrongly mentioned on the file of the project that he had kept the chief minister in loop about the transfer, which was denied by Mr Fadnavis.

On allegations against Desai, Fadnavis had yesterday said the government will request the Lokayukta to consider the case and if that does not work out, an independent probe would be conducted. "Either the CM should ask them to quit, or they should resign voluntarily", said Leader of the Opposition Radhakrishna Vikhe-Patil.

Speaking in the legislative council, Fadnavis said an inquiry into allegations against RTI activist Sandip Yeole will be conducted by the economic offences wing and anti-corruption bureau.

Later, the opposition parties slammed Fadnavis for not accepting Desai's resignation. The opposition had also accused Mehta of incorporating the names of his family members as the beneficiaries of a slum redevelopment project in suburban Ghatkopar.

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Khadse, a BJP leader, had past year resigned after facing allegations of committing impropriety in a land deal in Pune.

"Out of 16,909 hectares of denotified land, 9,335 hectares were denotified by the previous government and only the notification has been issued by the present dispensation". Under 32 (1), only 31.54 hectares was denotified, with 30 hectares denotified according to a Bombay High Court order. "Even if the CM is backing them, we will continue our fight against the corrupt ministers and the government", Munde said. There will be a fair and an independent report conducted.

Desai on his part said he met Thackeray and Fadnavis before resigning.

Mr. Fadnavis said the Lokayukta would be given absolute power to investigate the ministers, and no compromise will be made in the probe.

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