Corruption takes first casualty in BJP’s Mahrashtra government, will the housing minister be next?


Facing fresh corruption charges involving his cabinet minister and civil servants, Mahrashtra chief minister, Devendra Fadnavis, on Thursday announced the transfer of IAS officer Radheshyam Mopalwar from his current posting as the Managing Director of Maharashtra State Road Development Corporation Limited.

On Wednesday, the Congress-NCP opposition in both the Houses of the Maharashtra Legislature had demanded the removal of Mopalwar over some audio clips in which he was purportedly heard fixing a deal for a plot.

The opposition members in the Legislative Assembly also shouted slogans demanding removal of housing minister Prakash Mehta over the transfer of development rights to a project in the city without consulting Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis.

Fadnavis assured both the Houses that an inquiry would be conducted in the alleged wrongdoings by the official and, if found guilty, action would be taken against him.

Moving an adjournment motion in the Legislative Council, Leader of Opposition Dhananjay Munde read out the transcripts of the purported conversation of Mopalwar with a businessman, allegedly pertaining to a deal for a plot in suburban Borivali.

“There have been a total of 550 calls by Mopalwar to fix the deal. When these call recordings are sent to a forensic laboratory, it will be clear that the person is indeed Mopalwar. These calls have been recorded, transcribed and translated by a company approved by the Maharashtra government,” Munde said.

The opposition leaders had alleged that Mehta overruled the Housing Department’s view that the Development Control Rules do not support his decision to allow transfer of extra building (development) rights sanctioned to slum dwellers to another residential scheme.

Senior Congress leader and former chief minister Prithviraj Chavan had raised the issue last week.

The opposition MLAs, however, shouted slogans demanding a firm action against Mehta, who had earlier said Fadnavis had been intimated about his decision.

The opposition eventually staged a walk-out over the issue.

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