Written by Manoj Dattatrye More | Pune |
Updated: July 11, 2021 9:58:27 am
Sena leaders during their meeting in Akurdi. (Express photo)
Ahead of the civic elections slated for February next year, the political temperature in Pimpri-Chinchwad has started to rise, with the Shiv Sena and BJP already engaged in a verbal duel. After the Sena on Friday alleged massive corruption in PCMC and Smart City projects, the BJP hit back on Saturday, saying there was complete transparency in the projects and it was not afraid of any probe by government agencies.
“Nearly five years back, the BJP came to power in Pimpri-Chinchwad promising a corruption-free city. However, BJP has committed 100 per cent corruption during its rule. Two of its MLAs have virtually looted the PCMC. This has earned PCMC the sobriquet of the most corrupt municipal corporation of Maharashtra,” said Sena chief spokesperson Sanjay Raut on Friday.
Raut claimed that the Pimpri-Chinchwad unit of the Sena had already “exposed Rs 110 crore corruption” in Smart City projects of Pimpri-Chinchwad last week. “We are demanding a probe by the Enforcement Directorate in Smart City projects as well as the corruption in PCMC. The state government has also taken note of the happenings in Pimpri-Chinchwad and we are expecting strong action in this regard,” he said.
“We have sent all documents to the Enforcement Directorate to examine and launch an investigation in it. Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray does not tolerate corruption in government functioning, he will initiate appropriate action,” he added.
Responding to Sena’s demand for ED probe, BJP’s Pimpri-Chinchwad unit president Mahesh Landge on Saturday said, “The BJP has nothing to hide. There is complete transparency in PCMC functioning as well as Smart City projects. The Sena should remember that members of all political parties are involved in Smart City projects. There is a board of directors for the Smart City in which every political party has a member… the Sena should first ask its own member whether any wrongdoing has happened in the projects”.
“The BJP is ready to face any probe, be it by ED or any government agency, we are not afraid of any investigation. This is because we have ensured transparency and corruption-free governance. We have not done anything wrong…,” he added.
Meanwhile, Raut also said the Sena was gearing up to contest the forthcoming elections. “Shiv Sena is in alliance with Congress and NCP in the state. In the civic elections too, we will take the decision at the right time regarding forming an alliance. If we get the seats that we demand, then there is a possibility of the forming the alliance… we will certainly hold a dialogue with NCP and Congress for the civic elections,” he said.
“Pimpri-Chinchwad is a city of labourers and workers. The Shiv Sena has grown on the strength of the working class in Mumbai and Thane. If we can achieve this success in Mumbai, why can’t we do so in Pimpri-Chinchwad” he added.
Landge also said the BJP was confident of winning the next civic elections. “Everyone knows where Sena stands, we don’t want to comment about it… However, we have worked hard for the development of Pimpri-Chinchwad and done everything possible to resolve the grievances of citizens all these years. We are confident that the people will re-elect us,” he said.
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