The Bharatiya Janata Party on Thursday stepped up pressure on Maharashtra Public Works Department Minister Chhagan Bhujbal, alleging that his assets had increased 100 times since 2009.

Market value

The market value of the total property disclosed by the Bhujbal family in their election affidavits filed in 2009 amounted to Rs. 21 crore. But, as per information available with government departments, their assets are now an incredible Rs. 2,100 crore, according to senior BJP leader Kirit Somaiya.

Mr. Somaiya claimed to have made the calculation based on data from balance sheets of various companies owned by Mr. Bhujbal, his son Pankaj and nephew Sameer, all of whom contested the 2009 Lok Sabha election.

“Either Mr. Bhujbal has lied to the Election Commission or they are lying to the public,” Mr. Somaiya told reporters here.

Clarification

He said the Minister should come out with a clarification as to how his assets shot up so dramatically.

The BJP leader had filed an 800-page PIL petition against Mr. Bhujbal, demanding a probe against the Minister in the awarding of multi-crore contracts for the construction of the Maharashtra Sadan building in New Delhi.

A probe was initiated after a written complaint to the State Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) by Mr. Somaiya. But three months on, the government has yet to act on the probe report.

‘Charges baseless’

Mr. Somaiya has also charged Mr. Bhujbal with involvement in the Coalgate, but the latter dubbed the charge as “baseless.” He said Mr. Somaiya was in the business of levelling false allegations.

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