ACB to probe graft allegations against Bhujbal

September 18th, 2012 - 10:37 pm ICT by IANS  

Mumbai, Sep 18 (IANS) The Maharashtra government Tuesday gave its consent to the state Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) to probe corruption charges against PWD Minister and Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) leaderChhagan Bhujbal in the Maharashtra Sadan case, official sources said.

Bhujbal welcomed the probe.

“I welcome the probe and it will help the truth to come out,” said Bhujbal who has denied any wrongdoing in the construction of the government guest house in New Delhi.

The ACB had sought permission to conduct a probe, in a letter to the additional chief secretary (Home) on July 18, following allegation by Bharatiya Janata Party leader Kirit Somaiya that Bhujbal misused his official position to award contracts for the Maharashtra Sadan building in Delhi to firms owned by his relatives.

Home Minister R. R. Patil and Bhujbal both belong to the NCP and both enjoy a close rapport with party chief Sharad Pawar.

Among other things, Somaiya has alleged that Bhujbal had given the contract to construct the Maharashtra Sadan to an associate of his, a contractor who was reportedly not equipped to handle such a large project.

No tenders were floated for the contract and the project cost shot up to Rs.1.50 billion - thrice the original estimate, he further alleged.

This is not the first time Bhujbal - a former Shiv Sena heavyweight who moved to Congress and later NCP - has faced corruption allegations.

In the past, Bhujbal was interrogated in the multi-billion rupees Telgi stamp paper scam, the Mumbai Educational Trust, followed by Maharashtra Sadan and now his name has cropped up even in the coal blocks allocation imbroglio.

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