published by, Sanstuti Nath
Last Update: March 09, 2023, 15:01 IST
Leader of the Opposition in the Maharashtra Legislative Assembly Ajit Pawar on Thursday alleged that a Rs 500-crore scam took place in the state’s Information and Publicity Department during the tenure of the Devendra Fadnavis-led government.
Government officials approved the publication of media advertisements worth over Rs 500 crore in 2019 without approval from the chief minister, Pawar claimed and demanded Chief Minister Eknath Shinde to punish the officials involved in the scam.
Speaking in the Assembly, the senior leader of the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) said, “The officials mentioned in the file that the Chief Minister was informed about the expenditure of Rs 500 crore for publishing advertisements without actually taking approval from him.” Was.”
The Department of Information and Publicity is handled by the Chief Minister. The Fadnavis-led government of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Shiv Sena (undivided) ruled the state during 2014–19.
“In 2019-20, the government had stopped payment of these advertisement bills as there was no sanction. But now the present government has given orders to pay. This is serious and the government should not support such activities.”
“Such culprits should be punished with suspension. Approval of Chief Minister is mandatory for media advertisements. In this case, during the election year 2019, advertisements worth more than Rs 500 crore were approved without the approval of the Chief Minister.
Without naming Brijesh Singh, who was the Director General of Information and Publicity Department in 2019, Pawar said the probe into the approval of advertisements carried out under former Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray indicted the then Principal Secretary Social Justice and Director General of Information and Publicity , who is now in the Chief Minister’s Office as Chief Secretary.
The inquiry report also said that all departments should take the approval of the chief secretary, the minister concerned and the deputy chief minister who holds the finance portfolio, Pawar said.
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(This story has not been edited by News18 staff and is published from a syndicated news agency feed)