Politicians are known to switch parties and loyalties. But two former legislators have even managed to oscillate between diverse income groups at the same time.
Former member of Legislative Assembly (MLA) Kalyanrao Patil and ex-Member of Legislative Council (MLC) Manikrao Maske won two flats each in the recently held lottery conducted by the Maharashtra Housing and Area Development Authority (MHADA), in different income groups.
Patil and Maske modified their income details and applied for flats under the legislators’ quota in two income categories.
Patil, a two-time Sena MLA from Nashik applied under the Higher Income Group (HIG)—monthly income more than Rs 20,000 — and the Low Income Group (LIG) — income in the range of Rs 8,000-Rs 12,000.
He won a flat in both categories — at Ghatkopar in the HIG and at Sion in the LIG. “It was a mistake on my part to apply for both,” Patil said.
Maske, a former member of Legislative Council from Parbhani had also participated in the freedom struggle. He applied in the HIG and the Middle Income Group (MIG)—for those with monthly incomes in the range of Rs 12,000-Rs 20,000. He won flats at Malvani and Dahisar. “My father applied for MIG because there were many aspirants in the HIG category,” said Maske’s son, Santosh.
MHADA officials are confused whether to cancel the allotments or not because the law is silent on such cases. Sources in MHADA said both may get a flat each. “We just take the applicant’s sworn affidavits and allot flats,” said a MHADA official requesting anonymity. “The applicants will state that they made a mistake in one form and should not be punished in the other category for this.”
Housing activists are not amused. “MHADA has to cancel their allotments and set an example so that no one does this in future,” said Sreedhar Sharma, president, Revathy Foundation, a non-governmental organisation that works in the housing sector. “Tomorrow, every claimant will apply under multiple categories and deprive genuine people of houses.”
This is not the first such case. Sitting legislators have been accused of submitted false affidavits to get HIG flats at MHADA’s Rajyog Housing Society at Versova.