There seems to be no respite for former chief minister Devendra Fadnavis with BJP facing a humiliating defeat in his home town in the crucial Nagpur Zilla Parishad elections. No doubt BJP emerged as the single largest party in the elections to the six Zilla Parishad, which went to polls recently, but its tally was less than the combined seats secured by the MahaVikasAghadi comprising Shiv Sena, Congress, and NCP.
Fadnavis had made the Zilla Parishad elections a prestige issue. He, along with Nitin Gadkari, had addressed several meetings in the rural parts of Nagpur district. For Fadnavis, it was the first election after the assembly polls where BJP lost power to the Shiv Sena-led MahaVikasAghadi, even though BJP had emerged as the single largest party.
BJP had secured 105 seats against 56 by Sena, 54 by NCP and 44 by Congress. As BJP had a pre-poll alliance with Shiv Sena, Fadnavis was hopeful he would retain power. He made all possible efforts to convince Shiv Sena president Uddhav Thackeray to give up the CMs post for him. The rest is history. Fadnavis did not succeed as Thackeray joined hands with Sharad Pawar and Congress leader Balasaheb Thorat and took over the reins of the state.
Maharashtra seems to be witnessing exponential growth in cases of corruption owing to a lack of supervision at all levels. This is despite all-out efforts to introduce online systems. A senior goods and services tax official were caught accepting a Rs 10 lakh bribe from an aggrieved businessman. It was a simple case of a GST refund.
Another case pertains to Rs 2.5 lakh demanded by a Pune court bailiff for delaying the decree issued by the court. The court had issued the decree in the name of one person, while his rival was keen on delaying the execution of the decree. The bailiff agreed to oblige provided he was paid Rs 2.5 lakh.
The third case pertains to the issuance of a birth certificate. A clerk in the Mira-Bhayander Municipal Corporation demanded Rs 20,000 to issue a birth certificate within a month. All these cases have been registered in the first week of January. One of the reasons for the spike in corruption cases is there is no fear of the Prevention of Corruption Act as it takes several years and even decades to secure a conviction for the accused. Changes will have to be brought in the criminal justice system to ensure that once an offense is registered, the case is disposed of within a year.
(With inputs from timesofindia)