New Delhi: Congress on Monday demanded action against six Maharashtra ministers accusing them of "shamelessly pursuing" business interests even after assuming office, insisting this is a "blatant conflict of interest".
"Maharashtra government should take immediate action against them and launch a thorough probe to find out how they have used their official positions to benefit their private concerns," it said.
It claimed the ministers who are linked to private firms are Health Minister Deepak Sawant: chairman of Anideep Eye Hospital; MoS for Housing Ravindra Waikar: Board of director of a construction firm; PWD Minister Chandrakant Patil: Director of Telematic Interactive Pvt Ltd; Women & Child Development Minister Pankaja Munde: on the boards of at least five companies; MoS for Industries and Mining Pravin Pote Patil:
Director on the board of Pravin Builders and Developers (India) Pvt Ltd.; and MoS for Finance and Rural Development Deepak Kesarkar: on the board of Sindhudurg-based Innovators Resorts Pvt Ltd.
In a commentary titled "Maha corrupt Maharashtra Govt Ministers are running private companies", it said according to the Constitution, no MLA can hold an office of profit while serving in the Assembly.
In the commentary posted on its website, the party noted that the average salary of an MLA in Maharashtra is Rs 75,000, with ministers earning even more. This of course does not include the many perks that are given to ministers, it said.
"The BJP in Maharashtra has been grossly violating the norms of Indian democracy," it alleged, saying after the nexus between Education Minister Vinod Tawde and various companies was exposed, it has now come to light that many ministers in the Devendra Fadnavis' government are directors of private firms.
The AICC was also critical of two of these ministers for defending their action. It recalled that after getting all these privileges, Sawant said, "How will ministers eat?"
Chandrakant Patil said if ministers didn't hold on to these positions they would have to resort to corruption.
The party also took to Twitter to target the six ministers under the tag #corruptFadanavisgovernment.
"Maha' conflict of Interest in @Dev_Fadnavis' Government. Shouldn't these Ministers step down?", it asked.