Maharashtra deputy transport minister arrested on graft charges
Jalgaon (Maharashtra), May 21(ANI): Maharashtra's Minister of State for Transport and senior Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) member Gulabrao Deokar was arrested on Monday, for his alleged involvement in a Rs.46-crore housing scam.
He was summoned to the Zilla Peth Police Station here and arrested for his role in facilitating the construction of 11,000 low cost houses in 1997.
Additional Superintendent of Police Ishu Sindhu had earlier summoned 46 former corporators, including Deokar. However only 25 turned up on Saturday and were arrested.
Out of those arrested on Saturday, 15 were granted bail, while the rest were remanded in police custody.
So far, 38 persons including former housing minister and Shiv Sena MLA Sureshdada Jain have been arrested in connection with the case.
The scam dates back to 1997, when Deokar, then a member of Jalgaon Municipal Corporation, allegedly bent tender conditions to benefit Khandesh Builders, a front company of Jain.
The project never took off, but massive funds were allegedly transferred to Khandesh Builders, and later, it was found that a sizable portion of it was funnelled into the accounts of companies controlled by Jain.
The opposition has now called for Deokar's removal from the state cabinet.
State Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) chief, Sudhir Mungantiwar said, "Deokar should be sacked at once by the Governor, as there is a possibility that he may influence the investigation."
Shiv Sena termed Deokar's arrest as action taken too late, and alleged that he was being protected because he was a government minister.
"The democratic front government is involved in a host of scams. Police took long to arrest him," Shiv Sena spokesperson Neelam Gorhe said. (ANI)
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