State cooperation minister Chandrakant Patil was dragged into a controversy on Saturday for using a fancy number plate car in Solapur. A day later, state transport minister Diwakar Raote directed transport department officials to take action against the car owner for using a fancy number plate.
Patil admitted to using the car to reach the venue from the helipad in Solapur but clarified it did not belong to him. Using fancy number plates violates provisions of the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988. Moreover, the Nagpur bench of the Bombay high court last year had directed the state government to take immediate action against car owners using such plates.
The SUV used by the minister had a number plate MH-13 8110, BJP, designed in a way to carry the party name. Patil, a BJP minister, was in Barshi, Solapur, to attend an event organised by party leaders. The issue snowballed into a controversy after a local Marathi news channel, ABP Majha, highlighted it on Saturday.
“It’s not possible for me to check number plates and licences of cars I use during my tours. I was asked by my party activists to sit in it. It’s not a big issue,” said Patil.
After the issue got media attention, Raote, ordered action against the owner of the car. “Orders have been issued to take action against those who violated the rules,” Raote told HT. He also maintained the car did not belong to the cooperation minister.
“It was not my car. The transport minister can take action against the car owner,” Patil replied when asked about the orders of the transport minister in the case.
Shyam Wardhane, the state transport commissioner, said, “The transport minister must have given the orders to the district authority of the department. His orders will be followed as per the existing rules and regulations.”