After a volley of graft allegations between allies-turned-rivals Shiv Sena and BJP, the Sena on Wednesday targeted CM Devendra Fadnavis, alleging corruption in the Nagpur civic body during his term as mayor.
Sena leader Anil Parab, citing the Nandlal committee report of February 2001, alleged there was corruption in the Nagpur Municipal Corporation during the terms of four mayors — Rajeev Ghollar, Kalpana Pande, Vasundhara Masurkar, and Fadnavis. “The report says during Fadnavis’ term as mayor, standing committee members would hold negotiations with contractors. Some contractors were given work without tenders. Criminal offences were registered against corporators after an inquiry,” Parab said.
The Nandlal committee report had led to registration of offences against more than 100 corporators, most of them BJP’s, as it was at the helm of the Nagpur civic body at the time. The erstwhile Congress-NCP state government dissolved the corporation , but the Nagpur bench of the Bombay HC overturned it. Parab said: “The BJP wants transparency in the Mumbai corporation and is making endless allegations against Sena. So we are bringing the Nandlal report in front of the public. The committee has proof of irregularities in the Nagpur Corporation during Fadnavis’ term as mayor.”
The Sena and BJP will contest the BMC polls independently for the first time in 20 years. Fadnavis, at a rally in Mumbai later in the day, responded to Sena’s allegations by reading out the HC’s clean chit.
He spoke of corruption in the Cambata aviation deal and alleged Sena had a pact with the firm, which had cheated Marathi workers . “Who was paying salaries to 22 Sena unit heads and people working in someone’s home? Who cheated Marathi workers in the Cambata Aviation issue?” A Sena-led union represented workers from Cambata Aviation who had not been paid dues for a decade. Recently, social activist Anjali Damania alleged workers got a raw deal, but those in Matoshree got paid. Madhav Bhandari, BJP’s chief spokesperson in Maharashtra, said Sena’s claims prove it tied up with Congress to pull BJP down. “...The Congress-led state wanted to dissolve BJP-led Nagpur corporation...The decision was overturned in HC, the ruling upheld by SC. The report was fabricated.”
CM also demanded that Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray should make his assets and income public.