MUMBAI: Sharpening his attack on Shiv Sena minister Ravindra Waikar, senior Congress leader Sanjay Nirupam today accused him of "illegally" executing six Slum Rehabilitation Authority (SRA) projects having a collective turnover of Rs 1,000 crore by "misusing" his official position.
He also accused Waikar, the MoS for Housing in the BJP-led NDA government at the Centre, of running six construction firms in suburban Mumbai, which he said is a case of the "conflict of interest".
However, Waikar rejected the allegations terming them as "wild and baseless".
Nirupam, who heads the city unit of Congress, yesterday moved Lokayukta against the minister, days after accusing him of "usurping" a 20-acre government land in Aarey Colony here, and sought demolition of "illegal construction" made by Waikar in a state-run gymnasium.
"I am in the possession of clinching documents that incriminate the Housing Minister for State Ravindra Waikar for misusing his ministerial position to secure the permission for his projects and that too illegally in connivance with SRA officials," Nirupam said in a press conference.
He claimed that "Waikar is running six construction firms under various names between suburban Andheri and Jogeshwari in K-East (municipal) ward. While the minister is the main partner in the firms, other partners are front men".
"The size of turnover of all these (SRA) projects is Rs 1000 crore with a saleable area of 3.5 lakh sq ft. Most importantly, permission for all the projects was secured by flouting of rules and regulations," claimed Nirupam, a former MP.
Nirupam, who quit Sena in 2005, clarified that he was not per se against any minister doing business.
"...But Waikar's conduct is the gross violation of the oath that he took as a minister. Despite being a Housing Minister he is running six construction firms, which is the fit case of the conflict of interest," he added.
Nirupam demanded that Waikar be sacked immediately and an inquiry be launched in all the projects.
"I am also demanding action against the SRA officials who helped minister to get permission illegally," he added.
Nirupam had yesterday filed a complaint against Waikar with Lokayukta for "misusing" his office and "exerting" his influence as minister in "usurping the land".
When contacted, Waikar said that he did not need to give explanation to Nirupam's each and every "baseless and wild" allegation.
"I am out of city and will clarify my stand explicitly in a press conference when I return to Mumbai," Waikar told PTI.