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Wednesday, May 25, 2022

BJP’s Kirit Somaiya dares MVA govt to book him for ‘violation’ of Official Secrets Act

On Monday, Congress leader Sachin Sawant had sought a probe against Somaiya after a viral video showed the BJP leader seated on an official chair in the Urban Development Department’s office.

By: Express News Service | Mumbai |
Updated: January 25, 2022 4:57:56 pm
BJP’s Kirit Somaiya dares MVA govt to book him for violation of Official Secrets ActBJP leader Kirit Somaiya. (Express Photo)

Senior BJP leader Kirit Somaiya on Tuesday dared the Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government to file a case against him for his alleged violation of the Official Secrets Act.

“The Congress fears that I am going to expose their leaders’ corruption. Therefore, they are raising a hue and cry and demanding action against me.” As far as I am concerned, “I would like to state that the Maha Vikas Aghadi government has already filed 13 cases against me. They are free to file one more case,” he said, adding that it won’t deter him from his commitment to expose the wrongdoings of the administration.

On Monday, Congress leader Sachin Sawant had demanded a probe against Somaiya for violating the Official Secrets Act after a viral video showed the BJP leader seated on an official chair with a heap of files in the Urban Development Department’s office at the Mantralay. The video came as a rude shock to the ruling coalition and its ministers.

Sawant was quick to raise questions. “How did the BJP leader enter the Urban Development Department? Did he take official permission? Or did he sneak inside without permission? If he has violated the Official Secrets Act, it calls for strong action. The government should order an investigation,” he said.

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Somaiya, however, has denied that he violated the Official Secrets Act. “I had sought some information under RTI from the concerned department,” he clarified.

He went on to say, “What is worrying the ruling parties is whose file I am going to bring out in public… Will it be Shiv Sena (MLA) Ravindra Waikar’s land deals or PWD minister Ashok Chavan’s or that of some others?”

A senior Congress minister said, “Anybody, including political rivals BJP, can enter the Mantralay. But what is worrying is that Somaiya is screening through files sitting in the Urban Development Department.” Often, elected members across party lines come to the Mantralay with public issues and meet IAS officers or ministers, but scrutinising official files is a matter of concern, he said.

The state government also needs to ascertain whether some officers in the department facilitated Somaiyya’s access to the department and files, he added.

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