Terms Congress leader Ranjit Deshmukh’s charges baseless

Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar on Saturday denied carrying out illegal alterations to his residence in a co-operative housing society for legislators and ministers.

Earlier this week, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC), after repeated petitioning by civil society activists, issued notice to six senior Maharashtra politicians, three among them Cabinet Ministers, for carrying out illegal alterations to the houses owned by them in the Shubhada and Sukhada housing societies. The BMC has given a month’s time to them to demolish the alterations.

Mr. Pawar rubbished the charges levelled against him by senior Maharashtra Congress leader Ranjit Deshmukh that he owned not less than eight ‘benami’ flats in the posh Sukhada and Shubhada Co-operative Housing Societies located along the city’s Worli seaface.

Speaking to television channels in Nagpur, Mr. Deshmukh, who is also the Chairman of the Shubhada Housing Society, alleged that Mr. Pawar had taken the flats in eight different names.

“Each flat had a carpet area ranging from 600 to 1,000 sq.ft. and was valued [at] more than Rs. 2 crore,” said Mr. Deshmukh.

Mr. Deshmukh also accused his own partyman, Congress MP Vijay Darda, of acquiring flats in the Society through illicit transactions.

“I have only one flat in the Shubhada Housing society that I had taken sometime in 2004-05 as per the process of allocation of flats for legislators and ministers. His [Mr. Deshmukh’s] charges are totally baseless,” countered Mr. Pawar, also rebutting charges that he made any additions to the structure.

Apart from Mr. Pawar, the alleged offenders include senior BJP leader Gopinath Munde, Maharashtra Pradesh Congress Committee president Manikrao Thakre, Punjab Governor Shivraj Patil and Cabinet Ministers Patangrao Kadam and Anil Deshmukh.

Mr. Kadam, who is the secretary of the Sukhada housing society, has been served a notice for converting his shops into a gymnasium.

Mayor Sunil Prabhu said action would be taken against politicians if they refused to respond to the BMC notice.

  • BMC has issued notice to six Maharashtra politicians for carrying out illegal alterations

  • Deshmukh has alleged that Pawar has taken flats in eight different names