Devendra Fadnavis Orders Lokayukta Probe Against Minister Prakash Mehta

Subhash Desai
Subhash Desai
Author

12 August, 2017

Mumbai: A day after Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis announced a probe against two cabinet colleagues for alleged corruption, Industries Minister Subhash Desai of ally Shiv Sena tendered his resignation on Saturday but it was rejected.

The opposition has been alleging 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.

"We will request the Lokayukta to consider this case as well, but if this doesn't work out, then we will conduct an independent inquiry", he said. He said the requisite permissions for its construction on city survey number 725 were given between 1999 and 2014. Mehta was allegedly attempting to favour SD Corporation in an SRA deal at Tardeo and also wrote in the project's file that the CM was aware of the case, when he was not.

After Opposition parties continued demanding resignation of both ministers, Fadnavis said, "I will not ask them to go home just because of the Opposition's allegations". He confirmed that after discussions with Fadnavis, it was decided that Desai's resignation from the cabinet was not necessary. Shiv Sena had denied the allegations against Desai as baseless. In the Maharashtra Assembly on Friday, Fadnavis had told the Opposition members that the government will request the Lokayukta to inquire the complaints against Desai, India Today reported.

"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". Mehta's wife and son were also accused of benefiting from a redevelopment project.

"Similar criteria should be applied to these ministers as well", he said. Under 32 (1), only 31.54 hectares was denotified, with 30 hectares denotified according to a Bombay High Court order. "At the same time, an independent inquiry will be held in the case of denotification of MIDC land at Igatpuri in Nashik district", Mr. Fadnavis said.

Regarding the allegations of graft against IAS officer Radheshyam Mopalwar, who was recently removed as managing director of the Maharashtra government undertaking MSRDC, the CM said a joint SIT, consisting a serving IAS officer and officials of the Economic Offences Wing, will be formed and a probe will be conducted. "Since the Lokayukta will not probe that angle, there will no questions raised against Fadnavis", he said.


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