CAG report tabled in Maharashtra Assembly

Maharashtra Government tabled the CAG report in the Legislative Assembly amidst demand for a probe by PWD Minister Chhagan Bhujbal into its "leak".

Mumbai: Maharashtra Government on Tuesday tabled the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) report, which allegedly indicts senior politicians from the state, in the Legislative Assembly amidst demand for a probe by PWD Minister Chhagan Bhujbal into its "leak".

Making a personal clarification after the report was tabled by deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar, Bhujbal described the leak as a "conspiracy to malign individuals" and sought a probe, saying excerpts of the report that found way into the media differ from the one seen by the Cabinet.

He also questioned the authority of the federal auditor to question government`s policy decisions.

Bhujbal is learnt to have been indicted by the CAG in this report.

As per the leaked excerpts, a 91,300 square metre plot in Govardhan Taluka in Nashik district worth crores of rupees was allotted to the Mumbai Education Trust (MET) after changing the purpose of reservation from mining activity to educational purpose at occupancy price of a meagre Rs 9.08 lakh. The land was allegedly transferred to MET by the PWD, a department headed by Chhagan Bhujbal.

Bhujbal told the Assembly that the Mumbai Education Trust (MET) had applied for the land in Nashik in year 2000 when he was not the PWD minister.

"The land was allotted in 2003 by the revenue department as per government norms meant for land allotment for educational institutions," he said.

Since 1975, as many as 3,160 institutions have been allotted land for educational purpose and even late BJP leader Hashu Advani was assigned the land for his educational institution under the same norms, Bhujbal said.

Leader of Opposition Eknath Khadse objected to the
clarification, saying it was not needed since no allegations were made against Bhujbal on the floor of House in this regard.

He said the opposition was yet to get a copy of the CAG report.

However, Speaker Dilip Walse Patil said any member or minister can give clarification on the basis of allegations levelled outside the House.

Meanwhile, noisy scenes were witnessed in the Assembly when Revenue Minister Balasaheb Thorat and Industries Minister Narayan Rane rose to make clarifications on the report.

Speaker adjourned the House for 15 minutes and later for half an hour as the opposition objected to the clarifications given by the ministers.


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