CHIEF MINISTER Devendra Fadnavis has convened a meeting of BJP leaders from Pimpri-Chinchwad in Mumbai on Wednesday evening. The meeting comes against the backdrop of allegations made by Opposition parties and a BJP MP about “irregularities” in the Pimpri-Chinchwad Municipal Corporation’s tendering process for the Rs 425-crore road project.
The meeting has been scheduled twice last month, but cancelled, said a BJP leader. On Tuesday, BJP’s Pimpri-Chinchwad unit president Laxman Jagtap confirmed that he has received a message from the CM’s office about a meeting scheduled on Wednesday at 9 pm. “I think the meeting is about the Standing Committee…,” he said. Jagtap added that MLA Mahesh Landge has also been called for the meeting. He didn’t know “if MPs were invited”. BJP MP Amar Sable said he was in Bihar and hadn’t received any call from the CM’s office. “I have heard about a meeting being called by the CM but I have not received any invitation from the CM’s office. I am waiting for the call…,” he said.
Sable, along with Opposition parties the NCP, the Shiv Sena and the Congress, has alleged that there were irregularities in the Rs 425-crore tender process approved by PCMC’s Standing Committee, headed by Seema Savale. Sable had caused a stir in the BJP when he wrote directly to the CM and sought an investigation in the matter. The CM’s office had then asked Municipal
Commissioner Shravan Hardikar to submit a “status report”. The report was submitted two weeks ago. Before sending the report, Hardikar had told the media that there was “nothing irregular” in the tender process and that his administration had, instead, succeeded in saving Rs 31 crore for PCMC by alloting tenders below the estimated tender rate. Savale, too, had challenged the allegations made by the Opposition.
Sable’s allegations also revealed the formation of at least three camps in the BJP — one led by Jagtap, another by Sable and third by Landge. However, in this case, the Landge camp had joined hands with Jagtap camp by giving a clean chit to the Standing Committee. A BJP leader from the Sable camp said the CM had earlier scheduled meetings on January 12 and 27.
However, without citing any specific reason, they were cancelled. “We hope the CM will hold the meeting this time and clear the air as the issue has affected the image of the party,” he said.