29 May 2017 | Last updated 02:31 PM

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BJP, Sena at loggerheads again
Pandurang Mhaske | Wednesday, 17 May 2017 AT 11:56 PM IST
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Mumbai: The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and Shiv Sena, allies in the State government, have locked horns once again. This time on Shiv Sena’s radar is Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis himself over the Jalyukt Shivar scheme.

It all started after Shiv Sena Chief Uddhav Thackeray attacked the CM’s flagship scheme, Jalyukt Shivar. There are no elections round the corner and so Thackeray’s attack on Fadnavis surprised many in political circles.

A day after Shiv Sena leader and Environment Minister Ramdas Kadam raised doubts about the Jalyukt Shivar scheme, Uddhav went on to call it a hub of corruption.

The BJP and Fadnavis replied that there are differences among Sena leaders, leading to such allegations. Senior Minister and close aide to CM, Ram Shinde said there are differences between Kadam and Minister for State Ravindra Waikar who is the guardian minister of Ratnagiri where the alleged corruption took place in the Jalyukt Shivar scheme at Dapoli, Mandangad and Khed tehsil.

This was a strategy by the BJP to confuse the Shiv Sena and widen the rift between the ministers. But Kadam stuck to his guns. “Corruption has taken place and there is no connection of the guardian minister with it,” he said, adding, “Shinde is junior in the ministry.

“He should learn about his department and then make any statement.”

“I have all the papers showing how the contractors and officers in the scheme are hand-in-glove,” Kadam claimed.

“Now, Shiv Sena will inspect the work done under the Jalyukt Shivar Scheme and expose the quality of work and payment made to contractors, which will prove the corruption in the scheme,” Kadam said. Shinde denied the allegations of corruption. Meanwhile, Kadam said the decision to increase the stamp duty is against the interests of the common man. The State Cabinet on Tuesday increased stamp duty on gift deeds and conveyance deeds by amending the Maharashtra Stamp Duty Act. The charges for the stamp duty will be 3 per cent of the Ready Reckoner rates if a flat is gifted to a blood relation. The amount currently is barely Rs 200 or Rs 500 depending on the nature of the plot. It was also decided to hike the stamp duty levied on conveyance of immovable property in urban areas to 5 per cent and that for rural areas to 4 per cent. These decisions are expected to generate Rs 300 crore in additional revenue for the State exchequer.

“This decision will affect the common man and Shiv Sena will agitate against it from May 19,” said Kadam.

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