Lokayukta inquiry against Mehta in SRA row, says Maharashtra CM

Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis announced an inquiry by the state Lokayukta ML Tahiliyani into the charges levelled at housing minister Prakash Mehta.

In Mr Mehta’s case, opposition leaders were alleging Mr Mehta’s signed decision in Tardeo MP mill compound case was against interest of state and for developer’s benefits.

TOI’s report said that Mehta had permitted the transfer of building rights due to slumdwellers to a building for project affected people in violation of development control norms. “An independent inquiry against Mr. Desai will be carried out by a competent officer”, he said.

“The inquiry will go beyond the remark that Mehta had made”. Fadnavis said the additional FSI of 25 square meters was given despite knowing that construction was complete and it was not possible to use additional FSI in the same building. It was later handed over for maintenance to the state government by the Defence ministry, which had acquired it in 1946.

“I started digging deep into the MP mill compound issue after the allegations were made”.

He further said, “All the permissions in MP Mill compound were given in between 1999-2004. They are not ashamed of their own deeds”, he said. He also alleged that Eknath Khadse was meted out a different treatment and that Mehta and Desai are being shielded by the CM. LOIs were not issued and so nothing had happened. If he agrees, we will order a probe by Lokayukta. “If opposition leader have proofs, then they can handover it to the Lokayukta who will probe”.

As far as allegations against Desai are concerned, Fadnavis said, “Of the total 16,909 hectares of land denotified so far, 9,335 hectares was denotified during thhe tenure of previous governments”.

“This government has denotified only 7,734 hectares of land”, Mr Fadnavis said. “But if he doesn’t, we will hold an independent probe”, he had said.

Fadnavis also announced an SIT probe into the charges against bureaucrat Radhesham Mopalwar, who was accused of demanding bribe.

Maharashtra Minister for Industries Subhash Desai on Saturday morning met Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis and offered his resignation.

“I felt that I should not be a minister when an inquiry had been initiated”.

In his reply, Mr Munde said, “Fadnavis is highly skilled in trying to confuse members of the Opposition and that nobody has the capability to match the CM’s expertise”.