Shiv Sena’s Subhash Desai offers to quit over graft claims, Fadnavis rejects his resignation
Subhash Desai is alleged to have denotified nearly 30,000 acres of land earmarked for industrial use in Nashikmumbai Updated: Aug 12, 2017 14:55 IST
Scam-hit industries minister Subhash Desai offered his resignation to Maharashtra chief minister Devendra Fadnavis on Saturday morning. The move comes after Fadnavis announced an independent probe into the allegations of graft made against Desai, on the last day of the monsoon session on Friday.
Desai is alleged to have denotified nearly 30,000 acres of land earmarked for industrial use in Nashik. Opposition members claimed that he did this to benefit certain builders.
The minister met Fadnavis at his official residence, Varsha, at Malabar Hill to say he would resign. “I had refuted the allegations against me in Vidhan Bhavan. Following this, an inquiry was announced on Friday. I felt that I should not hold office until the probe has been completed. However, Fadnavis refused to accept my resignation,” said Desai.
Fadnavis spoke to Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray, who agreed that Desai should not resign, said sources.
“This trend of accepting ministers’ resignations solely on the strength of the Opposition’s allegations is not good for the state. Those making such allegations have been accused of graft themselves,” said Thackeray.
He defended Desai, saying the minister was targeted despite his good work.
“Desai met me on Friday, saying he wanted to resign on moral grounds. I told him he could. Today morning, Fadnavis spoke to me and we concluded that this was unnecessary,” he said.
Fadnavis had also announced a Lokayukta-conducted probe into the allegations against state housing minister Prakash Mehta. Mehta is under fire over a series of allegations related to slum redevelopment projects. Opposition leaders accused him of favouring certain builders. The minister allegedly clubbed a transit camp development project in Ghatkopar with six slum pockets to form a larger slum rehabilitation scheme. In doing so, he overruled his department’s objections. HT had reported how this move helped a certain developer benefit.
There was speculation that Desai’s resignation would pressure the BJP to ask Mehta to resign too. For now, it seems as though the ruling parties are staunchly supporting their ministers.
Mehta has, so far, not offered to resign.