Graft charges against Maharashtra ministers: Thackeray seeks probe

Mumbai, July 24: Shiv Sena President Uddhav Thackeray on Friday demanded a probe into the allegations of corruption against some Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) ministers in Maharashtra's ruling coalition.

Read more: Maha embarrassment! BJP Minister Pankaja Munde faces Rs 206 crore corruption chrage

"A probe must be immediately conducted to ascertain the genuineness of the allegations levelled against the ministers and if they are proved true they must be investigated," Thackeray demanded.

'Probe graft charges against ministers'

The Shiv Sena chief's statement came in the second part of his ongoing three-part marathon annual interview ahead of his birthday on July 27, published in the party mouthpiece Saamana on Friday.

He emphatically sought an independent probe into the allegations -- which have been denied by the concerned individuals -- Women and Children Welfare Minister Pankaja Munde and Education Minister Vinod Tawde -- and placing the matter before the people.

However, Thackeray warned that it should not lead to a situation when somebody (opposition parties) makes allegations to play their political games and should be allowed to get away with it.

"The impartial probe must unravel the truth or the lies, and if those levelling such allegations are proved wrong, then suitable action should be initiated against them," he demanded.

Reiterating his earlier statement that "corruption is present all around", Thackeray urged that somebody has to unravel whether what is visible is true or not.

Referring to the allegations faced by Pankaja Munde on the 'chikki' scam, he said it must be probed to find out whether (she) had the authority to buy the chikkis without inviting tenders or she is being targeted by rival contractors lobby, and ascertain if the chikki supplied was of proper quality.

Thackeray touched upon other issues like the status of the Hindutva agenda, the Shiv Sena's strong resolve to capture power next time on its own strength, allegations against some opposition leaders like NCP's Ajit Pawar, relations between the two ruling allies (BJP-SS) and the issue of making farmers debt-free to prevent suicides.

Incidentally, Thackeray's comments came against the backdrop of an ongoing agitation by the Opposition parties demanding action against the ministers facing corruption allegations during the monsoon session of the Maharashtra Legislature currently underway.


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