Trouble for Maharashtra Housing Minister Prakash Mehta

ST Correspondent
Wednesday, 6 September 2017

State Governor C Vidyasagar Rao orders investigation into SRA decisions

Mumbai: Senior BJP leader and Maharashtra’s Housing Minister Prakash Mehta may face political trouble as Governor C Vidyasagar Rao on Wednesday asked the State Lokayukta to investigate into the permission granted by Mehta with regard to a slum rehabilitation scheme in Mumbai.

Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis had requested the governor to issue a direction to the Lokayukta to launch an investigation into the matter.

An inquiry against a sitting minister has to be sanctioned by the Governor. Fadnavis faced a lot of pressure in the recently concluded winter session of the State Assembly from the opposition parties because of allegations of scams levelled against Mehta.

The SRA scheme in question relates to rehabilitation of a slum at the MP Mill Compound in south Mumbai. “In a letter to the governor, the chief minister had stated that he had made a statement before both the Houses of State Legislature that in regard to the allegations against Prakash Mehta pertaining to the grant of permission in the Slum Rehabilitation Scheme, an inquiry would be entrusted to the Lokayukta of Maharashtra,” the spokesperson said. The governor ordered investigation under sub-section (3) of Section 17 of the Maharashtra Lokayukta and Upa-Lokayukta Act, 1971, he said.

The opposition in the State is now likely to demand Mehta’s resignation as a sitting member of the Cabinet has been asked to face a Lokayukta inquiry. There is a political buzz in Mumbai about the possibility of a Cabinet reshuffle in the State which may happen in the coming weeks. The chief minister may bring in some new faces in the Cabinet and may also announce that Mehta should be kept out of the Cabinet till the inquiry against him is completed.

Opposition may demand Mehta’s resignation

- The SRA scheme in question relates to rehabilitation of a slum at the MP Mill Compound in south Mumbai. 
- Fadnavis faced a lot of pressure in the recently concluded winter session of the State Assembly from the opposition parties because of allegations of scams levelled against Maharashtra’s Housing Minister Prakash Mehta.
- The opposition in the State is now likely to demand Mehta’s resignation.

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