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Rane accuses Uddhav Thackeray of corruption

Written by: Staff

Mumbai, Apr 18: Maharashtra Revenue Minister Narayan Rane today levelled serious charges of corruption against Shiv Sena working president Uddhav Thackeray and said the party had no right to speak on morality in public life.

Levelling allegations against his former party leader in the Assembly, Mr Rane said Rs one crore was paid to Mr Thackeray's father-in-law at the MIG club near the Thackeray residence 'Matoshree' in suburban Bandra in connection with the controversial Crawford Market re-development project.

Similarly, he said Rs four crore were paid to the Sena leadership when the Centaur hotels were sold off to private parties, rendering 640 employees jobless.

''I can give hundred instances where plots in Mumbai and Thane were dereserved in exchange for money when the Sena-BJP government was in power in the state and by the Shiv Sena which rule has ruled the two civic bodies for nearly two decades,'' Mr Rane alleged while making a clarification under Legislative rules in the Lower House on the charges of corruption levelled against him by Leader of the Opposition Ramdas Kadam in the Mukand Ltd land sale in Kurla-Chembur area of North East Mumbai.

Mr Rane said the property was sold twice in 1910 and 1944 in auction and the unearned income was not paid to the Government at that time. The Mukand group purchased the property in 1944 and the Act for depositing the unearned income from sale of property with the Government was enacted in 1951.

''I have stayed the decision of the Mumbai District Collector to allow Mukand to sell off the land on February 20 after I found that the Collector had taken decisions outside his jurisdiction. Where is the question of corruption when there is no sale of the land,'' Mr Rane asked.

Mr Rane further alleged that Mr Uddhav Thackeray had demanded crores of rupees while giving party tickets during elections. ''Mr Subhash Desai is a witness to the dealings and he himself took an advance of Rs 15 lakh from one of the prospective candidate,'' he alleged.

While Mr Rane was making accusations against the Sena leadership, party members shouted slogans against the Revenue Minister while the Congress members countered Sena's slogans.

Speaker Babasaheb Kupekar, on two occasions brought to the notice of Mr Rane that he was speaking beyond his statement of clarification on the charges made against him in the Mukand Iron land deal.

Sena members took strong objection to the allegations and senior member Subhash Desai requested the Speaker to expunge the allegations.

Mr Desai, citing Legislative rule books said, a member can only clarify his position regarding charges made against him through proper notice.

''He cannot speak anything controversial. Mr Rane's remarks should be expunged,'' Mr Desai demanded. He was supported by former Speaker Datta Nalawade (Sena).

Mr Kupekar said he will check the proceedings and take action accordingly because there was a lot of noise while the minister was making his statement.


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