Chandrakant Patil, once a blue-eyed boy of BJP is irked these days, the veteran public figure aims to become the chief minister of Maharashtra, but his cravings always remained unsatisfied. Born to a Maharashtrian family on 10th June 1959, he grew up in a small neighbourhood in Mumbai. His inclination towards politics began early at the age of 18. Patil is fondly known as Chandrakant Dada who is very sensitive to his party and hardly takes any criticism.
Former Revenue and Public works minister of Maharashtra, he gave tough time to many innocent engineers. He always suspected PWD engineers are Chhagan Bhujbal’s people and all this led to harassment. Somehow, he is out of power and Chhagan Bhujbal too came out of jail. Now Chhagan Bhujbal is in power and Chandrakant Patil always takes Bhujbal as a rival.
Minister Chhagan Bhujbal said that Mamata Banerjee fought like the queen of Jhansi. Mamata had promised that she would not give up her Bengal. PM Modi and Amit Shah were holding meetings for a day. Bhujbal said that 8 to 10 ministers were sitting but it was of no use. He had also criticized the BJP over the Bengal result. In West Bengal, Mamata Banerjee’s leadership has proven its spark. Speaking on the issue, BJP state president Chandrakant Patil has warned Minister Chhagan Bhujbal. Talking about this, Patil said that Chhagan Bhujbal should react to Pandharpur, he has been released on bail, he has not been acquitted.
So, he should not speak too deafeningly otherwise it will be very expensive for him. Chandrakant Patil alleged that if Mamata wins in West Bengal, EVM is right and if BJP wins in Assam, EVM is wrong. The defeat in Bengal must be sad. It should be noted that despite the defeat, everyone came together against the BJP. For years, there seems to be no one in the government, said Patil.
In 2014, when the public accounts committee of the state legislature filed a report alleging irregularities in some projects of the PWD department while it was under Bhujbal. This included the construction of the Maharashtra Sadan – against a budget outline of Rs 50 crore, the project ended up costing thrice as much, Rs 152 crore.
In 2015, an inquiry was initiated amid allegations that kickbacks were paid to the Mumbai Education Trust, an institute owned by Bhujbal’s, in exchange for the contract. In 2016, the Maharashtra Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) chargesheet against 17 people, including the NCP leader. The ED, probing the case as part of a special investigation team with the ACB, arrested Bhujbal for alleged money laundering in the case, claiming the contractor had earned an 80 per cent profit while rules entitled them to only aim for 20 per cent.
The chargesheet stated that Chamankar Associates, the firm that bagged the contract, had transferred money to other companies in the name of people who worked for the Bhujbals and that these companies were used to siphon off the money.
In 2012, Mumbai Educational Trust (MET) filed a criminal complaint against Chhagan Bhujbal, alleging misuse and mismanagement of trust property for family-run furniture business and destruction of evidence in connection. Bhujbal was accused of ‘destroying evidence’.
In a written complaint, the former AAP leader Anjali Damania and her associate Khandekar demanded that the ACB must register a criminal complaint under the Prevention of Corruption Act and Money Laundering Act against Bhujbal, who is a former minister in Maharashtra state PWD department and his family members including his MLA son Pankaj Bhujbal as well as nephew Samir Magan Bhujbal, a former MP. Former CM of Maharashtra Devendra Fadnavis nod for ACB probe against Chhagan Bhujbal.
Damania in her public interest litigation petition has alleged that the family members of former Maharashtra Minister Chhagan Bhujbal received kickbacks after the award of contracts, including for the construction of the new Maharashtra Sadan in New Delhi, and sums of money were credited to the account of Bhujbal Charitable Trust. After two years in jail, nothing could be proven against Bhujbal and he came out on bail. More than two years after he was arrested in a money laundering case, NCP leader and former Deputy Chief Minister Chhagan Bhujbal won the election in 2019 and against resumed as a cabinet minister.
Today when BJP is in opposition, they time and again try to rake the corruption issue, but this time Bhujbal is not as vulnerable as he was. And Chandrakant Patil also not as influential as he was when in power.
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