Mumbai: In more trouble for senior NCP leader and former Deputy Chief Minister Chhagan Bhujbal, Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis has given the nod for an ACB probe against him and his family members in a disproportionate assets case. The Anti-Corruption Bureau’s file has been cleared by Fadnavis, sources in the CM’s office said today.
An ACB probe is already underway against Bhujbal and his family members in connection with the contruction of Maharashtra Sadan in Delhi and two other buildings in Mumbai. Meanwhile, AAP leader Anjali Damania, who had levelled allegations of corruption against Bhujbal in her complaint to ACB, has welcomed the development. “In our complaint about amassing of assets, we have given the list of properties mentioned by Bhujbal’s son Pankaj and other members of his family in their election affidavits,” Damania said.
Chhagan Bhujbal was unavailable for comment. In December last year, the state government had given the nod to ACB’s proposal to conduct an open inquiry into accusations of corruption against Bhujbal in connection with construction of new Maharashtra Sadan in Delhi and two government buildings in Mumbai.
Under Bhujbal as PWD minister, the Congress-NCP government had entered into an agreement with a contractor for construction of Maharashtra Sadan, a guest house, High Mount, on Malabar Hill and the new administrative building and residential quarters for Regional Transport Office at suburban Andheri in Mumbai on PPP basis. Bhujbal was alleged to have awarded the contract for Maharashtra Sadan to an associate not known to be a capable of executing such projects. The cost of the project had also reportedly escalated significantly.
BJP leader Kirit Somaiya had approached ACB seeking an inquiry, alleging that Bhujbal’s friends and family-owned firms were involved in several non-transparent and corrupt transactions by using a web of shell-companies to park the money earned through illegal means. His son Pankaj and nephew Sameer, a former MP, were also alleged to have received kickbacks.