Scores of Congress workers on Saturday held a protest outside Maharashtra Housing Minister Prakash Mehta’s residence here demanding his resignation in the wake of corruption allegations against him. The workers, led by Mumbai Congress president Sanjay Nirupam, shouted slogans against the BJP minister outside his residence in suburban Ghatkopar and sought his ouster from the Devendra Fadnavis-led Cabinet.
The opposition party vowed to step up its campaign against Mehta and said it will explore all available options, including legal, to ensure his removal.
Mehta had yesterday accused the Opposition of levelling unsubstantiated allegations against him
“New charges of corruption are coming up against Mehta every single day. The last two weeks of the state Assembly have been washed out on this issue,” Nirupam said, addressing his party workers at the protest site.
Seeking to dent the transparency plank of the BJP-led coalition, the former Lok Sabha MP said how can Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis claim to run a clean government when he is not taking action against a “corrupt” member of his Cabinet?
Fadnavis is “defending the indefensible”, Nirupam alleged and said the CM should reveal under whose pressure he is not asking Mehta to resign.
“We held a protest outside his house today. I myself went there with a copy of resignation letter drafted by me. I wanted him to sign on that. But before we could reach there, he left home knowing he did not have the courage to face truth,” the Congress leader said.
If Mehta does not resign before the end of the ongoing monsoon session of Assembly (August 11), the Congress will pursue other methods to seek his ouster, Nirupam said.
“We are ready to move the court to seek a direction to the state government to sack him. We are also exploring the possibility of approaching the Governor or even the President with all proof against Mehta if needed.”
“Our Prime Minister Modiji has given a slogan – ‘Na Khaunga, Na Khaane dunga’ (will not engage in corruption myself, nor allow others). But we fail to understand why Mehta has not been sacked so far when he is facing a series of corruption allegations,” Nirupam said.
The MLA from Ghatkopar (East) came under fire when it emerged he allegedly allowed unauthorised transfer of extra building rights to a slum redevelopment project in south Mumbai.
Yesterday, the minister faced a fresh allegation of incorporating the names of his family members as beneficiaries of a slum redevelopment project in his constituency, which the Congress said amounted to a “conflict of interest.”