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Maharashtra minister Subhash Desai offers resignation but Fadnavis declines it

Maharashtra minister Subhash Desai offers resignation but Fadnavis declines it

Mumbai: Opposition NCP on Saturday said the decision of Chief Minister Minister Devendra Fadnavis to refer to the Lokayukta the allegation against his cabinet colleague Prakash Mehta was a "clever game" to save himself from any possible fallout.

On Saturday morning, Desai went to the CM's official residence and offered to resign. Fadnavis, however, refused to accept his resignation.

The Chief Minister rejected his resignation offer also.Meanwhile, Uddhav Thackeray, speaking to reporters, backed Desai and said those (in Opposition) levelling allegations are themselves "stuck knee deep" in corruption. I told him when there is an inquiry going against me I don't want remain minister. The Opposition is demanding for his resignation as well.

"Desai told me that he wanted to stay away till the inquiry is over. The CM said to me that the people in Opposition feared action in corruption charges that are levelled against them and now trying to be aggressive just to save their skin", said Thackeray.

"You keep on making allegations and we keep on resigning, this does not help Maharashtra in anyway.there is a probe and he would face the probe", Thackeray said. But the CM said that the High Court does not allow sitting judges to do an inquiry. Desai, a Sena leader, is accused of returning land that was notified for industries to farmers who actually have already sold their land to builders.

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The opposition has alleged that the move was aimed at favouring a particular developer. The minister had admitted to this irregularity.

Mr Desai also spoke to Mr Thackeray on the issue. However, in case of BJP's Mehta and Shiv Sena's Desai, both will continue to head the housing and industries departments, respectively, even as an inquiry is held into their functioning as heads of these ministries and the decisions they took."I had refuted allegations against me, in the Vidhan Bhavan".

Congress spokesperson Sachin Sawant slammed the BJP and Sena for being farcical when it came to corruption. "The same government has applied different parameters to Desai and Mehta and Eknath Khadse, who was sacked pending inquiry", said Sawant. "This shows the government is not uniform in its approach to checking corruption". He said there was no need for the resignation.

His counterpart in the Legislative Council Dhananjay Munde (NCP) said the Chief Minister is standing by the corrupt. However, for now, it seems both the ruling parties have closed their ranks around the ministers facing probes."This is a cover-up".