Advocate” Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis pleaded “not-guilty” on behalf of his ministers on Friday when he replied to the debate on corruption charges levelled by the opposition. In a point-by-point rebuttal, Fadnavis said that the opposition is engaged in politicizing issues.
The opposition accused him of avoiding further debate and shielding his ministers.
“After the numerous scams in the past 15 years of UPA rule, we are here to build a new image of Maharahshtra as a corruption-free state of which the opposition is scared and hence, they are levelling baseless allegations against our ministers,” Fadnavis said as he concluded the debate over the issue. He also appealed to the opposition to join hands in the government’s efforts for a corruption-free Maharashtra.
Not leaving any chance to expose the corruption during the previous regime, the Chief Minister elaborated on efforts made by his government to check corruption.
“When we took over, it appeared as if the contractors were running the entire show in several departments. To do away with their hegemony we brought in e-tendering,” Fadnavis said. He added that the charges levelled by leader of opposition Radhakrishna Vikhe-Patil against tribal welfare minister Vishnu Savara give an impression that the e-tendering process in that department does not exist at all.
“But, that is not the case,” Fadnavis said and read out a long list of items procured through the e-tendering system this year. He agreed that there were problems at a few places in purchase of raincoats for the students and said that action is being taken against officials responsible for that.
Fadnavis also brushed aside charges against EGS minister JaykumarRawal. The decision to hand over the investigation to CID instead of SIT was proposed by a senior investigating official and was executed during the UPA regime, the CM pointed out.
In case of SambhajiNilangekar, he pointed out that, though an impression has been created that Nilangekar duped the bank for Rs 49 crore, the fact is that he was just a guarantor to a loan for a factory and the CBI came into the picture as it involved a nationalised bank.
In case of RavindraChavan, the criminal cases against him were all political and hence the then home minister JayantPatil gave him firearm licence during UPA regime, he said and also informed the house that he has been acquitted in all the cases.
Fadnavis also defended PankajaMunde and EknathKhadse as well as Shiv Sena ministers RavindraWaikar and DiwakarRaote citing relevant documents from time to time and stating that they are not involved in any corruption.
“Opposition targeted Raote over Trimax deal. But, it was finalised by the UPA government,” he said.
After the CM’s reply, the chair denied right to reply to NCP leader JayantPatil as the motion was moved by LoPVikhe-Patil, who was absent from the house due to his father’s ill health today. The enraged opposition then started protesting and the panel speaker adjourned the house first for ten minutes and then for the day.