Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leaders Kirit Somaiya and Devendra Fadnavis on Tuesday filed a complaint with the Anti-corruption Bureau against public works minister Chhagan Bhujbal and a private group of companies for corrupt practices, benami transactions and money laundering.
Fadnavis alleged that a contract to build a new Maharashtra Sadan in New Delhi was given to builder KS Chamankar, who further sub-contracted to Origin Infrastructure Pvt Limited, which is allegedly a benami company belonging to Bhujbal. He alleged the directors of Origin were Bhujbal Group employees and had passed on a furniture contract to Ideen Furniture, owned by Bhujbal’s daughters-in-law. The public works department’s decision to work out a formula under which Chamankar would build Maharashtra Sadan in New Delhi and some other government buildings in exchange of incentive FSI had kicked up controversy.
Bhujbal refuted the allegations made by the BJP leaders, pointing out that the decision to award incentive FSI to Chamankar’s slum project for renovating Maharashtra Sadan in Delhi, the High Mount guest-house in Mumbai and the Regional Transport Office in Andheri, was taken by the cabinet sub-committee on infrastructure, led by the chief minister. The clarification issued by Bhujbal said the cost of projects, including that of the Maharashtra Sadan (increased from Rs 52 crore to Rs 152 crore) may have increased owing to delays, but that is was not at the cost of the state exchequer. “The developer, to complete his work may have sub-contracted it to other small contractors. The state government had no role to play in this,” the clarification states.