Mumbai: Congress today alleged that Maharashtra's Education Minister Vinod Tawde held a director's post in a private media company and demanded his sacking from the Cabinet over conflict of interest.
The Minister, however, said it was an honorary director's post and, since he received no remuneration from the company, there was no question of conflict of interest.
Former Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan, addressing a press conference, said, "As per the information we have obtained from Registrar of Companies, Tawde is a director in Shree Multimedia Vision, a for-profit company. He did not disclose this information in his election affidavit. This is not only ethically wrong but also a criminal act. Tawde should be immediately relieved of the minister's post."
Chavan also alleged that Dilip Karambelkar, a business partner and a long-time friend of Tawde's, was made the president of Maharashtra State Marathi Encyclopedia Corporation without following the due process.
"Karambelkar's name was nowhere in the list of nominees.
But suddenly, after Tawde's OSD spoke to the deputy secretary of education department, he was given the post. We all know all the OSDs in this government are RSS workers," he said.
Tawde said he held no shares in Shree Multimedia Vision. "I am not a partner in the company but only an honorary director, whereby I can sign the annual account sheet of the company but don't get any remuneration," he said.
"Since I do not earn anything from the company, I did not mention it in election affidavit. When I don't have any interest in the profit or loss, there is no question of conflict of interest."
About Karambelkar's appointment, Tawde said they were friends, but claimed that he got the post only because he was eligible.
State Congress spokesperson Sachin Sawant said the Companies Act does not provide for an honorary director's post and that a person can only be a director or a non-executive director.
"Whether you are paid or not, being a director makes it your responsibility to work for the profit of the company," he added.
Tawde, a senior BJP leader from the state, had landed in a controversy earlier over his educational qualification mentioned in the election affidavit.