MSRDC Top Exec Shunted Out, Oppn Wants Me­hta Out too

The Economic Times - - Pure Politics -

Our Po­lit­i­cal Bu­reau

Mumbai: Ma­ha­rash­tra Chief Min­is­ter Deven­dra Fad­navis on Thurs­day re­moved IAS of­fi­cial Rad­heshyam Mopal­war from the Ma­ha­rash­tra State Road De­vel­op­ment Cor­po­ra­tion (MSRDC) of­fice. Mopal­war, who had headed MSRDC as its vice chair­man and MD, was over­see­ing one of the state’s most cru­cial projects — the Mumbai-Nag­pur 8-lane su­per ex­press­way.

Though Fad­navis said that the de­ci­sion was taken af­ter the charges of cor­rup­tion lev­elled against him, it failed to as­suage an an­gry Op­po­si­tion which has been de­mand­ing ac­tion against state hous­ing min­is­ter Prakash Me­hta for some se­ri­ous rule vi­o­la­tions.

The CM, how­ever, while re- mov­ing Mopal­war till an in­quiry against him is com­pleted, re­fused to take sim­i­lar ac­tion against Me­hta, claim­ing the al­le­ga­tions against him were po­lit­i­cally mo­ti­vated.

“Th­ese al­le­ga­tions are be­ing made to score po­lit­i­cal points. He (Me­hta) is be­ing ac­cused of tak­ing a de­ci­sion when the pro­posal it­self was not cleared. How can there be cor­rup­tion when the project was not cleared? In spite of this, we have or­dered an in- quiry into it,” said Fad­navis.

Me­hta is un­der the scan­ner af­ter he pitched for a pro­posal which would have led to huge gains of more than Rs 600 crore for a de­vel­oper in vi­o­la­tion of rules, and in spite of se­nior of­fi­cials from his own de­part­ment op­pos­ing the move, ar­gu­ing there’s no pro­vi­sion for the same. Me­hta, how­ever, cleared the pro­posal by not­ing that the ‘chief min­is­ter has been in­formed’, im­ply­ing that the CM was okay with the pro­posal. This though was far from the truth as Fad­navis wasn’t aware of any such pro­posal and even­tu­ally stayed it af­ter he came to know of it.

Fad­navis is be­lieved to have pulled up Me­hta for wrongly not­ing in the file that the CM had been in­formed, said sources aware of the mat­ter.

Hous­ing min Prakash Me­hta

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