A Maharashtra government official has alleged that Minister of State for Home Ranjit Patil pressured him over sanctioning of a tender for an infrastructure project, a charge denied by the minister.
Subhash Pawar, Additional CEO of Akola Zilla Parishad (ZP), also alleged that the minister threatened to “frame” him if he did not sanction the tender.
Patil denied the allegations and said that he had only sought an explanation from the official for the delay in addressing people’s grievances. Patil, who is from the BJP, is also the Guardian Minister of Akola district in eastern Maharashtra.
Pawar wrote a letter to state Rural Development Ministry’s Principal Secretary on February 12 giving details of the “incident”, which he claimed, occurred during a janata darbar (public hearing) organised by Patil.
Pawar today confirmed that he had written the letter but declined to offer any comments.
In his letter, Pawar wrote he was representing the chief executive officer of the Akola ZP at the janata darbar organised by Patil on February 12.
“Patil pressured me over sanctioning some tender related to the Public Works Department of the Akola Zilla Parishad.
“When I pointed out to him that such a sanctioning would be against the rules, Patil angrily scolded me and said he knows how to frame me,” Pawar stated in the letter.
“Patil used unparliamentary language against me and insulted me before the people (present at the hearing),” the official claimed.
“My 25 years of service has been free of any blot. The entire incident has put be under pressure and demoralised me. I wish to opt for VRS (voluntary retirement scheme),” Pawar wrote in the letter.
When contacted, Patil said he had only asked the official to explain the delay in addressing the grievances of people.
“Since we aim to address 100 per cent of the complaints that we receive (at janata darbar), we have to ask questions of the officials concerned in front of people (who come to attend such hearings).
“At no point of time was the officer pressured into doing anything illegal,” Patil told PTI.
In fact, the pendency of cases had been mounting under this officer, which was intolerable, he alleged.
“Despite giving him 15 days to come up with answers to people’s problems, he shirked his responsibility and tried to pass the buck to his subordinate. Thus, he was reprimanded for failing to do his duty,” Patil said.
The Janata darbar is a weekly event where department heads are supposed to come up with replies and explanations on issues raised by common citizens, said the minister.