MUMBAI: Both the houses of Maharashtra legislature witnessed uproarious scenes on Wednesday when opposition parties demanded suspension of a top bureaucrat over charges of corruption. The government, however, reiterated saying that an inquiry has already been initiated in the case.
An audio clip allegedly involving Radheshyam Mopalwar, vice chairman and managing director of the Maharashtra State Road development Corporation (MSRTC), had gone viral over social media since Tuesday. In the video, Mopalwar was trying to fix a deal of Rs 4 crore for a plot in Mumbai suburb for a slum redevelopment project.
Opposition members in assembly raised the issue of the clip as soon as the house met in the morning. Leader of opposition in assembly Radhakrishna Vikhe-Patil, NCP leader Ajit Pawar, former chief minister Prithviraj Chavan led the opposition attack.
Chavan asked, "Here is an officer who is talking of money. Has he been summoned and asked for an explanation?"
Chavan told the house about various cases filed against Mopalwar and the plum post he had all along. He also remarked that the inaction in cases like these have put a question mark on the credibility of chief minister Fadnavis since MSRDC was entrusted with building the Mumbai-Nagpir Samruddhi Corridor—the project often referred to as the pet project of Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis.
Vikhe-Patil said that the business of the house would be stalled till government did not suspend the officer.
In the Legislative Council, leader of opposition Dhananjay Munde read out transcripts of several audio-clips of alleged conversations involving Mopalwar.
Munde said, "Mopalwar made 550 calls 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 Maharashtra government."
CM Fadnavis, however, turned the tide on the opposition saying that the Mopalwar got bail in Telgi scam and had secured several plum postings during the previous Congress-NCP regime in the state.
Fadnavis told the house,"The government has taken note of the audio clip and orders for an inquiry have already been released. He also assured the house that the inquiry would be completed within a month and action would be taken against whoever is found guilty.
However, the opposition continued to obstruct the proceedings and kept on demanding action against the officer, which led to several short duration adjournments throughout the day.