Nationalist Congress Party legislator Nawab Malik on Monday demanded a judicial probe into a Wikileaks expose that alleges a nexus between Shiv Sena MP Shivajirao Adhalrao Patil and Dow Chemical, an American multinational that was to set up a plant in Pune.
Malik raised the issue in the state assembly saying that Patil from Shirur in Pune had asked Dow Chemical company officials to hire a particular PR agency to quell the protests of locals against plant.
He claimed that according to a confidential cable sent by the Mumbai embassy to the US in 2008, Dow Chemicals had hired a PR manager as “recommended” by the MP on a monthly salary of $20,000 a month.
“Shiv Sena has used this ploy in the past where they have lobbied with multinationals for gains. They have malafide intentions and this should be probed,” said Malik.
Patil told Hindustan Times that the Wikileaks expose was 100% baseless.
Dow Chemicals was trying to set up a chemical research facility and plant in Pune but had met with stiff opposition from locals on grounds of environmental pollution and fear of health hazard. At the time, Shiv Sena was spearheading the protests.
Patil said, “I have opposed this project right from the beginning and even after it was closed. I still have police cases pending against me for the protests.”
He admitted that the US consulate officials had met him in 2008 after a company car was burnt. “The US consulate officials met me and Dow Chemicals made a presentation for me. But I was not convinced that the plant was a chemical research company and not a manufacturing unit. I told them to go to the people and explain their stance,” Patil said.
He, however, denied recommending any PR manager to the company. “I do not know any agencies or managers.”