Mumbai: On the last day of the monsoon session of the Assembly, Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis announced a Lokayukta probe into allegations of corruption against Housing Minister Prakash Mehta. The CM said he would also probe the charges levelled against Industries Minister Subhash Desai by an independent authority.
The announcement came in the face of Opposition members demanding the resignation of both the ministers. “Once I dug deep into the MP mill compound issue (in which Mehta has been named), there were many skeletons that began to tumble out and I asked myself if this was another Adarsh (referring to the Adarsh scam),” Fadnavis said, adding, “I have decided to conduct a probe by the Lokayukta into the allegations made by the Opposition against the housing minister.”
Fadnavis in his reply to the motion moved by Leader of Opposition Dhananjay Munde in the Upper House and Radhakrishna Vikhe-Patil in the Lower House last week had said, “I found that all permissions (of construction) were given between 1999-2004. As per the property card, the land is owned by the defence ministry. How could the previous government permit an additional FSI on this plot when it was known that was defence land?”
Responding to the allegations against Shiv Sena minister Subhash Desai, Fadnavis said that there will be an independent inquiry. Out of 16,909 hectares of denotified land, 9335 hectares were denotified by the previous Congress-NCP government. The BJP government has denotified only 7734 hectares.
“Denotification of land, by any government is a procedure, it does not mean corruption has taken place. Nonetheless, we will probe if land was denotified to favour builders or for some other reason. There will be a fair and an independent inquiry,” the CM said, adding, “We will table the report of both the probes in the House.”