MNS demands scalps of scam-accused Maharashtra ministers

Mumbai, July 1 (IANS) Raj Thackeray’s MNS on Wednesday demanded the resignation of state ministers Pankaja Munde and Vinod Tawde who are facing allegations of involvement in various scams.

In a sharply worded statement, the Maharashtra Navnirman Sena’s general secretary and former legislator Nitin Sardesai wondered whether the “hunger” of the Bharatiya Janata Party ministers has increased after remaining out of power for 15 years.

“All allegations against them must be thoroughly investigated and till then, they must quit their posts to facilitate an independent inquiry. They should show that they are different from the previous Democratic Front (Congress-NCP) government,” Sardesai said.

Referring to the denials by both Tawde and Munde about the allegations, Sardesai said “there can be no smoke without a fire”, and pointed out that the people of Maharashtra had voted for the BJP-Shiv Sena as they were fed up with the erstwhile “corrupt regime” of the Congress-Nationalist Congress Party.

“An intellectual with a clean image like Devendra Fadnavis became the chief minister and he was highly praised in the media. But, in barely a year since coming to power, the people of the state are feeling disappointed as now even BJP ministers are facing allegations of committing irregularities worth crores of rupees,” he said.

On a sarcastic note, Sardesai said the ‘party with a difference’ was now behaving like the previous regime.

“After remaining out of power for 15 years, has their ‘hunger’ gone up? This is the question being raised in people’s minds.”

The MNS said the government seems to be continuing with the policies of the previous regime and whenever allegations are levelled against corrupt ministers, the chief minister “with a clean image” issues a “clean chit” to them.

This was the first formal reaction by the MNS after the government was rattled by the charges against Education Minister Tawde and Women and Child Welfare Minister Munde.

The Congress has already lodged a formal complaint with the Anti-Corruption Bureau to probe the charges against Munde, but both Munde and Tawde have dismissed all the allegations.

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