A letter written by Sanjay Raut, editor of Sena mouthpiece Saamna, to chief minister Devendra Fadnavis in connection with the probe into the Maharashtra Sadan scam has fuelled speculations that senior Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) leader Chhagan Bhujbal, who is in trouble over the case, may return to his former party, the Shiv Sena.
Bhujbal, however, maintained he had no intention of leaving the NCP. He attended the meeting of senior NCP leaders called by party chief Sharad Pawar on Wednesday.
Raut, Rajya Sabha MP from the Shiv Sena, on December 13, wrote a letter to the CM, expressing his displeasure on the way the case was handled by the government.
In his letter, Raut told the CM his study of the case against Bhujbal and other officials of the public works department (PWD) showed the investigation was sloppy. “The investigation seemed like a conspiracy to fix people, rather than carry out a fair probe,” the letter read. “If the proposal was cleared by the Cabinet sub-committee on infrastructure, which comprises ministers including the CM and secretaries, why were their names not included in the FIR.”
“Only imagining that Bhujbal has done something wrong and registering a fictitious case against PWD officers, as Bhujbal was heading the department, is injustice on part of those officers,” Raut said in his two-page letter.
“I have, in my letter, asked the CM to not act against the six bureaucrats who have been suspended [in the Maharashtra Sadan case] simply because they were only carrying out the orders which the cabinet had approved. I have, in fact, asked the CM to ensure the case is watertight so that Bhujbal doesn’t get away and embarrass the government,” said Raut.
Offering implicit support to Bhujbal, he warned Fadnavis that the government would face embarrassment as the case wouldn’t stand in the court of law.
Refuting the claims that he may return to the party, Bhujbal said, “Raut may have written to the CM based on his investigation as he was a journalist. Every matter need not be seen from a political perspective,” Bhujbal said.
He said Raut, in his letter, had pointed out the same points that he had been raising since the beginning. “The decision of the Maharashtra Sadan building in Delhi, in lieu of a massive slum rehabilitation project at Andheri (West), was taken by a Cabinet sub-committee,” Bhujbal said.
The PWD report sent to the anti-corruption bureau (ACB) also mentions the decision was taken by Cabinet sub-committee and not me, he added.