MUMBAI: The Congress and NCP on Tuesday demanded a judicial probe into the tendering process for the construction of the Chhatrapati Shivaji Memorial off the coast of Mumbai.
Addressing a press conference, Sachin Sawant and Nawab Malik, spokespersons of Congress and NCP respectively, accused the Devendra Fadnavis government of "serious irregularities" in awarding the contract for the project.
They said the two parties would write to the Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) to look into the matter.
"As per CVC guidelines, a tender cannot be renegotiated. L&T (Larsen and Toubro), the lowest bidder, had quoted Rs 3,826 crore for the memorial, which has a total height of 121.2 metres comprising 83.2 metre statue and 38 metre sword," they said.
"However, the tender was re-negotiated against CVC guidelines and the contract was approved after negotiation at Rs 2500 crore," the two leaders added.
Sawant and Malik said that, as per the renegotiated contract, the height of the structure remained 121.2 metres, but the statue's height was brought down to 75.7 metres and the height of the sword increased to 45.5 metres, adding that it was against original tender conditions and specifications.
Malik and Sawant cited the note of an official associated with the project to bolster their allegations, claiming that some of the officials had also written to the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) of India for an audit, which is yet to take place.
Malik went on to allege that corruption was rife under Fadnavis, and claimed a "blacklisted" firm had been given a contract for metro works.
Sawant said the Shivaji memorial was associated with the sentiment of the state's people, despite which the BJP-led state government was indulging in corruption in its construction.