At the time when the state coffers are cash-strapped and govt has a huge burden of loans to be paid, the Devendra Fadnavis government is showing largesse to its two prominent leaders by waiving Rs 59 lakhs recoverable from them by the government and has come to knowledge due to a response to an RTI query. In response to the RTI query filed by RTI Activist Anil Galgali, rent amounting to Rs 15.49 Lakhs due on Eknath Khadse and Rs 43.84 Lakhs due on Dr. Vijay Kumar Gavit was waived on an order issued to the PWD department.
Galgali had sought information from the PWD department about the penalty dues status of Former Revenue Minister Eknath Khadse and Former Minister Dr. Vijayakumar Gavit. The City division of the PWD in a response to the query provided the activist with the copy of the order issued by the government waiving the recoverable of the penalty levied on the two leaders. The State Government waived the penalty amounting to Rs 60 lakhs payable by the two top BJP leaders as a ‘special case’ and the General Administration department issued orders to the effect to the PWD department.
Eknath Khadse has levied a penalty amounting to Rs 15,49,974 for overstaying in the Ramtek bungalow beyond his allowed period post his resignation as Revenue Minister. Khadse had resigned as Minister on June 4, 2016, but vacated the bungalow on November 19, 2016. Khadse applied to the government seeking a waiver of penalty on March 26, 2018, which was considered as a ‘Special Case’. Similarly, Dr. Vijayakumar Gavit who was a Minister in the DF government had been allotted a flat admeasuring 3330 sq ft in the Suruchi building during his stint as minister, which was not vacated by him after ceasing to be a Minister. Gavit had resigned as Minister on March 20, 2014, but had continued to occupy the flat, which he eventually vacated on July 29, 2016. He was liable to pay a penal rent of Rs 43,84, 500, which he didn’t pay. Finally, he applied for a waiver from paying the charge with an application dated July 29, 2018, and the same again was considered as a ‘Special Case’ on October 22, 2018.
I am surprised over the largesse of waiver penalty granted by the government to the two BJP leaders and stated disappointment as the state coffers are empty and yet the government is waiving lakhs of rupees. In a letter addressed to CM Devendra Fadnavis, I have demanded that the said dues waived as a ‘Special Case’ should be immediately recovered with interest, Galgali stated.