Pune: The political tug of war for taking credit for sanction of Rs 1,013 crore widening of Pune-Nashik Highway stretch between Nashik Phata and Chandoli has begun between Bhosari BJP MLA Mahesh Landge and Shirur MP Shivajirao Adhalrao Patil.
Union Ministry of Roads and Surface Transport recently approved this project, which is part of Shirur Lok Sabha Constituency.
After the widening of the 30-km stretch was approved, Landge issued a press release. Adhalrao Patil immediately called a press conference and claimed that as the project belonged to the Central government the role of MP is crucial for its approval.
He ridiculed Landge's claims and said, "Landge claims he was following up the issue with Union Minister Nitin Gadkari for last four years. But interestingly Landge was not always MLA and Gadkari was not minister."
Landge joined BJP a year ago and is eyeing the Lok Sabha election in Shirur. Adhalrao Patil got elected from the constituency for the third consecutive time.
The Leader of the House in Pimpri Chinchwad Municipal Corporation, Eknath Pawar said, "Union Minister Nitin Gadkari approved this project and is a leader of the BJP. MLA Landge is affiliated to the BJP. He was following up this issue with Gadkari for a long time. Gadkari is going to lay the foundation stone of the project. MP Adhalrao Patil has unsuccessfully claimed credit for this project. The people of the constituency are aware now, so this is going to be last term of Adhalrao Patil in the constituency."
Mayor Nitin Kalje backed Landge: "The detailed project report was being done when MLA Mahesh Landge was Standing Committee Chairman of PCMC. But due to Adhalrao Patil, approval from National Highway Authorities was not issued on time. Instead of helping the project he tried to create obstacles and is now trying to take credit for the project."
Landge has support from Nationalist Congress Party. Former MLA from NCP in Khed, Dilip Mohite targeted Adhalrao Patil on the issue. Mohite said, "I am a witness to how Mahesh Landge has followed up with the Union ministry for approval of this project. Adhalrao has an old habit of taking credit for others' work. He has been doing so throughout the three terms as a MP."