Maharashtra CM's wife Amruta Fadnavis slams Digvijaya Singh over nepotism charge

Mumbai: The wife of Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis on Friday slammed senior Congress leader Digvijaya Singh for making 'baseless allegations' after he levelled 'nepotism' charges against her husband over a state agency's order asking developers to open accounts in a private bank where she works.

"Singh is using a woman's shoulders for his political target. Doing such a thing is an insult to a working woman like me," Amruta Fadnavis told reporters in Mumbai on Friday night after a BJP women's wing event. "The transaction he referred to pertained to the Worli branch of Axis Bank. I work in Lower Parel branch and have nothing to do with it," she said.

The chief minister's lawyer Ganesh Sovani recently asked Singh to tender an unconditional apology to him, failing which he said that his "client... shall have no option but to initiate appropriate civil and/or criminal proceedings against you".

In his tweets, Singh had alleged that, "SRA (slum rehabilitation authority) in Mumbai headed by CM of Maharashtra has officially asked all SRA developers to open accounts only in Worli branch of Axis Bank". "Do you know why? Mrs Fadnavis is the Vice-President of Axis Bank! A windfall for the Axis Bank a private Bank. Height of Nepotism," he had said.

The order issued on February 10 by the Devendra Fadnavis- headed SRA directed developers (who want to commercially develop slum-lands after rehabilitating the slum-dwellers) to submit details of their bank accounts with the Axis Bank's Worli branch for payment of rent to eligible slum dwellers before February 15, 2016.

The former Madhya Pradesh chief minister's remarks came despite Fadnavis's recent clarification that no rules were violated and the decision had no connection with his wife being an officer at the bank. Congress had dubbed as 'wrong' the condition to open accounts only with a particular bank.

Issuing a clarification, the Chief Minister's Office had said that the previous Congress-led government itself had given permission to SRA to choose from among Axis Bank, HDFC Bank and ICICI Bank for the task. Meanwhile, to a query on permission for women to offer prayers at shrines, Amruta Fadnavis said women should get equal rights.

The issue of denial of entry to women into the main shrine at the Shani Shingnapur temple had sparked a controversy a few weeks ago.

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