Congress, NCP attack BJP, demand resignations of Prakash Mehta, Subhash Desai
Soon after the house proceedings began in the lower house, the Opposition demanded a debate on corruption casesmumbai Updated: Aug 08, 2017 12:36 IST
An aggressive Opposition rocked the state Assembly on Tuesday as it convened after a three-day break demanding resignations of two cabinet ministers, housing minister Prakash Mehta and industries minister Subhash Desai.
Soon after the house proceedings began in the lower house, the Opposition demanded a debate on corruption cases.
Mehta is facing a series of allegations of irregularities and graft in redevelopment projects, possessing assets disproportionate to his source of income.
Desai is under attack for denotifying thousands of acres of industrial land across the state without following procedures.
The Opposition has termed this “corruption of Rs50,000 crore” and demanded a special Investigation team probe into it, apart from resignations of the ministers.
Chief minister Devendra Fadnavis has promised an inquiry into allegations against Mehta pertaining to a slum redevelopment project in Tardeo, but the state has not yet announced the details of this probe. The Congress has demanded a judicial commission against Mehta.
Leader of Opposition Radharishna Vikhe-Patil and Nationalist Congress Party leader Ajit Pawar said the huge tracts of land at Igatpuri was denotified to favour a private builder. They said the land was denotified despite the opposition of the Maharashtra Industrial Development Corporation.
Desai, however, said the denotification was according to the existing rules and only after a nod from the MIDC. He cited the examples of denotification done by then ministers during the Congress government in 2010 and 2014.
He said he was ready to face any inquiry and debate the issue in the house.
However, a section within the Congress feel that by targeting Desai and thus two ministers, the Opposition is diluting its stance against Mehta.
“The case and allegations against Mehta are very serious and we can get his resignation if we gun for this case. For starters, the CM has agreed to a probe against his cabinet colleague (Mehta) and logically the minister must step down until the probe is over. However, by also asking for Desai’s resignation, we are playing into BJP’s hands. The charges against Desai are not serious,’’ said a senior Congress leader.