The BJP on Friday put public works minister Chhagan Bhujbal in the crosshairs over the coal allotment scam. It also alleged that two more Maharashtra ministers, apart from Rajendra Darda, were involved in the scam.
The party alleged that companies owned by Bhujbal were financially involved with the Abhijeet Group, whose promoters have been named in the CBI’s charge sheet in the case. “I am saying this with a lot of responsibility that the Bhujbal group of companies and the Abhijeet Group have very deep financial relationship," BJP national secretary Kirit Somaiya told reporters on Friday.
Somaiya claimed that the two entities were in a quid pro quo relationship. "Four months ago, a Rs1,265-crore road contract was given by the PWD minister to the Abhijeet Jaiswal Group. The CBI needs to investigate if a barter deal was done with the group buying shares in Bhujbal's Armstrong Energy," Somaiya said.
Interestingly, in August, Somaiya had claimed that the Bhujbal family purchased coal mines in Indonesia. Then, the Bhujbals admitted to these investments and claimed that the mines were for their energy plant. Somaiya, on Friday, said that Bhujbal's energy venture in Nashik was a biomass-fuelled non-conventional renewable energy plant, which does not require coal. He further alleged that the plant had been shut for the past few months. "The Bhujbal family should explain why it procured these mines outside the country," Somaiya said.
Somaiya also met CBI DIG Ravikant Garg, who is investigating the coal allotment scam and handed over 1,200 pages of what he claimed was documentary evidence of companies involved in the coal scam.
"We have submitted documentary evidence of 168 companies that are involved in coalgate and are linked to Sriprakash Jaiswal, Subodh Kant Sahay and the Darda brothers," Somaiya said. He alleged that two more ministers in the state government were involved in the scam.
The BJP leader said the party plans to meet the Governor next week to demand the suspension of education minister Rajendra Darda from the state cabinet.