The Opposition has trained its guns on the senior Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) leader and the PWD minister, Chhagan Bhujbal, and three other ministers for accepting donations to the tune of Rs2.5-crore from a business conglomerate for his family trust, the Bhujbal Foundation. Three other ministers in the state Cabinet are also on the Opposition radar.
This issue is expected to rock the winter session of the state legislature, beginning from Monday. The Opposition leader in the assembly Eknath Khadse said that four ministers of the Prithviraj Chavan-led Democratic Front government, including Bhujbal, had taken donations from corporate houses for their trusts in lieu of favours.
The Opposition parties will raise the issue in both the Houses and seek Bhujbal's resignation. "This is a serious allegation and Bhujbal must resign," said Subhash Desai, Shiv Sena leader.
The Bhujbal Foundation had reportedly received donations in February 2010 and January 2011.
Khadse said that NGOs run by three others in the Chavan Cabinet have also taken donations from business houses. "I will reveal their names in the House," he said.
On the other hand, Bhujbal claimed that he had received donations from the said corporate house for the Nashik Festival. "The donations received for the festival and the firm being awarded infrastructure projects should not be linked."
The minister also denied that the foundation had accepted huge donations from the firm after awarding contracts to it.