Devendra Fadnavis 'violated oath of office, secrecy' while commenting on Aarey: Sena

Published: 12 October, 2020 21:51 IST | IANS | Mumbai

Thackeray on Sunday announced that the contentious Mumbai Metro car-shed would be shifted from Aarey Colony to government land in Kanjurmarg on which Fadnavis reacted with a series of tweets questioning the move.

Uddhav Thackeray, Devendra Fadnavis
Uddhav Thackeray, Devendra Fadnavis

The Shiv Sena on Monday demanded the removal of BJP's Leader of Opposition and former Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis for allegedly violating the oath of office and secrecy while making certain comments on Sunday pertaining to the Aarey Colony issue.

In a letter to Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari, Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray and Assembly Speaker Nana Patole, Vasantrao Naik Sheti Swavlamban Mission (VNSSM) President Kishore Tiwari - accorded a ministerial status - have charged Fadnavis with violating the Constitutional mandate by disclosing vital secret and official information in public domain on the status of the Kanjurmarg land.

Thackeray on Sunday announced that the contentious Mumbai Metro car-shed would be shifted from Aarey Colony to government land in Kanjurmarg on which Fadnavis reacted with a series of tweets questioning the move.

Terming it as "unfortunate" and taken just to satisfy ego, Fadnavis claimed it will escalate the project cost by Rs4,000crore which was assessed by a government-appointed committee.

He said that the Kanjurmarg site was considered by the state government earlier but it was under litigation as some private persons claimed rights over it and was stayed by Bombay High Court around 2015.

The government requested the stay to be withdrawn, but the Bombay High Court said an amount of Rs 2,400 crore must be deposited in case the claims got settled in future.

"What is the status of that case today? And if someone moves the Supreme Court, who will be responsible for the delay. Since the Kanjurmarg site is a marshy land, it will require at least 2 years to stabilise," Fadnavis said.

The opposition leader said that all previous tenders would have to be scrapped and a new process will have to be followed, and no DPR or feasibility report has been prepared for this site.

"This means that the Metro project, which would have been in the service of Mumbaikars just next year, has now been postponed indefinitely. Rs. 400 crore was already spent for Aarey car-shed, Rs 1,300 crore wasted due to staying of project and additional cost escalation of Rs 4,000 crore, Rs 2400 crore cost burden if Kanjurmarg land dispute remains as it was," said Fadnavis.

Demanding to know the current cost, Fadnavis alleged that the Metro project has been delayed for "indefinite period" and the Maha Vikas Aghadi government is misleading Mumbaikars.

Citing Constitutional provisions and legal precedents, Tiwari said that under his oath as Chief Minister, Fadnavis was under statutory obligation to maintain secrecy of office and not disclose any vital information pertaining to official files which he had dealt with or handled as CM.

The VNSSM head said Fadnavis has been constantly violating the oath for political gains by sharing secret official information on social media which pertains to various files he handled as CM, and it could corrupt the minds of people and instigate others to take advantage of the confidential information to delay the project.

"When the Maharashtra government has categorically claimed and stated that the entire land at Kanjurmarg is government land and will be handed over for Metro car-shed project at Re 1 lease only, then how was such information leaked by ex-CM Fadnavis to instigate old litigants to delay project?" demanded Tiwari.

Under these circumstances, the Sena leader demanded stern action against Fadnavis and urged the Governor, CM and Speaker to ask him to resign from the post of Leader of Opposition for showing "utter disregard to the mandate of Constitution of India".

There has been no reaction from Fadnavis or the state BJP to Tiwari's contentions.

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