Maharashtra CM Devendra Fadnavis on Friday announced probes against two ministers and a serving bureaucrat facing corruption charges. Fadnavis made the announcement in the Legislative Assembly and Council. While Lokayukta will probe the charges against Housing Minister Prakash Mehta, the CM said, an independent probe will be launched against Industries Minister Subhash Desai. Fadnavis also ordered probe by a Special Investigation Team (SIT) against senior bureaucrat Radheshyam Mopalwar, who was last week removed as vice-president and managing director of Maharashtra State Road Development Corporation. A team from the Economic Offences Wing will probe the charges against him.
The Opposition had been demanding action against Mehta and Desai. While Mehta is a BJP minister, Desai is from Shiv Sena. Although the CM did not make any commitment on seeking resignations of the ministers till the probe was complete, he said he won’t compromise on transparency and principles. “If ever a situation arises, I would walk out of the government, giving up the seat of power than compromise with corruption.”
Demanding Mehta’s resignation, the Opposition has alleged that the minister violated norms in the MP Mills Compound redevelopment project in Tardeo. Mehta faces allegations of sanctioning a slum redevelopment project without the CM’s consent and in violation of Development Control norms, in the process providing a Rs 500-crore benefit to a private developer. Fadnavis scrapped the project when the irregularities were brought to his notice.
The Opposition has also alleged violations by Mehta in two more housing projects related to redevelopment of transit camps and slum colonies in Ghatkopar. Desai has been accused by the Opposition of denotifying 31,000 acres of land to provide financial benefit to private developers.