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Is Vikhe Patil’s induction a bid to suppress DP scam, asks Ajit Pawar

Monday, June 17, 2019

Taking aim at Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, senior NCP leader Ajit Pawar Sunday alleged that former Congress leader Radhakrishna Vikhe Patil was inducted into the cabinet to ensure that he keeps mum on the "multi-crore Mumbai Development Plan scam" raised by him last year.

Vikhe Patil, a former Leader of Opposition in the state Legislative Assembly, was sworn in as a minister as Fadnavis expanded his Cabinet on the eve of the monsoon session of the state legislature.

Last year, Vikhe Patil had alleged that the Chief Minister's Office (CMO) had struck a deal of Rs 10,000 crore with some builders in lieu of introducing some favourable changes in the Mumbai DCPR-2034.

The CM had rubbished the allegations and threatened to file a defamation suit against Vikhe Patil, who was then in the Congress, if he fails to tender unconditional apology.

On Sunday, when Congress group leader in the Assembly, Vijay Wadettiwar, was speaking to reporters  who asked him about Vikhe Patil's allegations, Ajit interjected.

"I suspect that Vikhe Patil was alloted a berth in the Fadnavis government so that he keep his mouth shut on the scam and not go deeper into it or approach court," the former deputy chief minister said.

Wadettiwar said the Opposition would raise the alleged scam on floor of the House. "We are aware about these dealings and even know the hotels where they had taken place. We will not let this issue die down," said Wadettiwar.

Meanwhile, Ajit accused the government of luring leaders of other parties by promising them plum positions.

"Earlier Shiv Sena's Eknath Shinde was the Leader of Opposition. He was later made minister. Similarly, Radhakrishna Vikhe Patil was the Leader of Opposition till yesterday, but now he also joined the government," the NCP leader said.

Ajit said leaders should remain loyal to their political parties. "The tradition of vibrant Opposition seems being destroyed," he said.

Commenting about political defections, Ajit said some leaders who switch their loyalties have their own selfish agendas. "Probably they want the government to not conduct any inquiry against them. Some of them want their institutions function without any problems or sometimes they simply don't want to be hounded by government agencies," Ajit said listing out probable causes behind defections.

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