Even as former deputy chief minister and senior NCP leader Chhagan Bhujbal is under arrest in the Maharashtra Sadan case, a demand to re-open the probe into the Rs3,000-crore Telgi scam was made in the state Assembly on Wednesday.
The demand made by BJP MLA Anil Gote, who was also an accused in the fake stamp paper scam, got support from unexpected quarters. Former chief minister and senior Congress leader Prithviraj Chavan backed Gote, saying the legislator was making a legitimate demand and the scam had serious implications. Bhujbal faced allegations that he had links with Abdul Karim Telgi, the mastermind of the scam. The allegations, however, were not proven but Bhujbal—the then home minister--was made to resign by his party soon after the controversy.
Following Gote’s demands, Chavan stood up and spoke in favour of providing information as sought by Gote, even as chief minister Devendra Fadnavis indicated that it was not within the ambit of the discussion. Gote raised his demand during the discussion on a calling-attention motion raised by ruling party legislators on an incident in Thane where the city police had exposed a fake stamp paper racket. “The calling-attention motion refers to small incidents, whereas you are calling for information on an issue that I have no information on currently,” said Fadnavis. The speaker also rejected further discussion on the subject.
A day earlier, Chavan’s party, Congress, had firmly backed NCP in its protests against Bhujbal’s arrest, terming it vendetta politics.