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Congress demands Maharashtra industries minister’s ouster post Bakshi committee revelations

Leader of Opposition in the Legislative Assembly, Radhakrishna Vikhe-Patil, said that the report has reinforced the allegations he had levelled against Subhash Desai in the legislature last year.

mumbai Updated: Apr 03, 2018 00:45 IST
Surendra Gangan
Surendra Gangan
Hindustan Times
Congress,Maharashtra,Devendra Fadnavis
Vikhe-Patil said that the state government denotified 90% of the total 14,219 hectare of land, which amounts to 12,429 hectare, notified during January 1, 2015 and March 31, 2017.(HT FILE)

Congress has demanded the sacking of industries minister, Subhash Desai, following KP Bakshi committee’s observations on denotification of industrial land.

Leader of Opposition in the Legislative Assembly, Radhakrishna Vikhe-Patil, said that the report, submitted to the government on March 21, has reinforced the allegations he had levelled against the minister in the legislature last year. The uproar in the House last year on the issue had led to the setting up of the one-man committee led by former bureaucrat Bakshi.

Vikhe-Patil said that the state government denotified 90% of the total 14,219 hectare of land, which amounts to 12,429 hectare, notified during January 1, 2015 and March 31, 2017. The denotification was done to safeguard the interest of builders financially, Vikhe-Patil alleged.

“The report submitted by Bakshi, clearly said that the minister denotified the land to a large extent. He also undermined the written objections by the industries department and Maharashtra Industrial Development Corporation. The decision of denotifying the land acquired for industrial purpose was denotified to favour a few builders close to the minister,” Vikhe-Patil said.

The minister has lost the ethical right to be a part of the cabinet and he should be immediately sacked, said the Congress leader.

Read more: 32,000 hectares of industrial land in Maharashtra denotified in 15 years, says report

Desai has refuted the findings, pointing out that majority of the denotification during his tenure was in process before he took over as the minister. He has also said that he has denotified land only in cases where farmers had protested against acquisition.

HT had first reported in its March 31 edition that the Bakshi committee report had noted that Desai and his predecessor Narayan Rane, had denotified maximum industrial land in their tenures over-riding the opinion of the industries department.

While the report has not indicted the two, it has pointed out that both, Desai and Rane, used rampant discretionary powers for denotification. Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis on March 25, gave a clean chit to Desai in the Assembly, saying that the report absolved him of any conflict of interest charge.

First Published: Apr 03, 2018 00:45 IST