The government of Maharashtra will investigate alleged irregularities in the purchase of vehicles by the emergency and rehabilitation department when Shiv Sena-led Maha Vikas Agahdi (MVA) was in power, Deputy Prime Minister Devendra Fadnavis said on Wednesday. He made the announcement after a regional news channel (ABP Majha) claimed it had access to documents showing that the emergency and rehabilitation department had purchased vehicles allegedly purchased at high prices during the coronavirus pandemic.
The channel, citing the documents, claimed that one of the vehicles – a minibus – was purchased for Rs three crore when the market price was Rs 25 lakh to Rs 30 lakh. The state government will investigate allegations of buying vehicles at inflated prices. The details will come out in due course, Fadnavis, who owns the home wallet, told reporters when asked about the suspected scam.
The Relief and Rehabilitation Department, then headed by Congress Minister Vijay Wadettiwar, had purchased 18 vehicles equipped to respond quickly in the event of a natural disaster, according to the station. These vehicles, titled “Devdoot,” were purchased despite objections from the state finances, it said.
Wadettiwar, the then minister of disaster management and relief and rehabilitation, said he was ready to face any investigation. I had not approved them until I received the relevant file. Otherwise I have nothing to do with this development,” the congress leader said.
The previous MVA government led by Uddhav Thackeray consisted of the Shiv Sena, Congress and the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP).
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