Probe tender by mining corporation, Patole tells Maharashtra CM
Maharashtra Congress chief Nana Patole has stirred a controversy after he requested chief minister (CM) Uddhav Thackeray for a probe into the allotment of a tender by state-owned Maharashtra State Mining Corporation (MSMC) to a firm, which according to him is unfit for the tender.
The demand for probe is also seen as an attempt by Patole to target energy minister and his party colleague Nitin Raut.
Patole in his June 27 letter to CM had stated that the MSMC has allotted a tender to a private company for washing of coal extracted from mines in Vidarbha. He said that the company has no past experience, net worth or clearance required for such work. The letter has stated that a firm with which the company has the joint venture has been blacklisted by the National Company Law Tribunal.
The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has supported the demand, but has claimed that Patole is eyeing the energy department.
The letter by Patole, also addressed to state mining minister Subhash Desai, is considered to have come up out of the internal rivalry between two Congress leaders.
According to Congress insiders, Patole is keen on a ministerial berth and has requested the party high command to appoint Raut as Assembly Speaker. He believes that he would get the energy portfolio, in case Raut is made the Speaker.
Though MSMC is not related to the energy department, the coal washeries are directly related to the power generation.
Leader of Opposition Devendra Fadnavis said, “It is apparent that Patole is eying the portfolio that Raut currently heads. We also are of the opinion that there should be probe into corruption and we will support it if the issue is raised by Patole at appropriate forums.”
Patole has, however, rubbished the claims and said that the complaint is against an allotment by the mining department. “It has nothing to do with the energy department or Raut. There are no differences between us and there’s no question of me eyeing the portfolio. The letter is for the probe of irregularities in the mining department,” he said.