The late BJP MP : Chintaman Wanga

Mumbai : The  corridors of Mantralaya is agog  with fake signatures of the late Palghar BJP MP Chintaman Wanga on his official letter head in  the Public Works Department(PWD) and other departments thanks to a well oiled contractor's lobby in collusion with some PWD top officers at Mantralaya. The letters are back dated and bear signature of the late MP. A PWD official tipped off the scam to Vivek Pandit, former MLA from Vasai about the racket, and has written to the CM Devendra Fadnavis to order criminal cases against the contractors who have bagged such projects for forgery and other crime.

  Wanga, the three time MP  died in New Delhi on 30 January 2018 and was representing Palghar Lok Sabha constituency. Signatures of Wanga on his official letterhead was doing the rounds of the PWD in Mantralaya and a PWD official informed me about the scam,said Pandit. There is a well oiled racket between the contractors lobby and certain PWD high officials who are the implementing agencies for State works,said Pandit.

  As per rules, if a certain project say, Tribal Development department wants to construct ashramshalas in the State, the local MP recommends for such construction, and so the contractor carries the MP's recommendation to the PWD (which constructs all government projects) and since the Executive Engineer, PWD is the implementing agency, for all civil works in Zilla  Parishad, District Planning Committee (DPC) based projects, he sanctions the project, and tenders are issued,said Pandit.  However, the newly introduced e-tendering process is a farce as all projects are pre-decided by the Executive Engineer and the contractor's lobby said Pandit.

  Even for inclusion or sanctioning of funds for some projects in the State Budget, the recommendation of the local MP is needed and the contractor's lobby do the job, and after the project is sanctioned (usually in crores), a percentage (10%) is handed over to the concerned MP who recommended such projects,said Pandit. In this case, the contractors' used back dated letters bearing Wanga's signatures to get the project sanctioned, but Wanga is known for his clean record and there are not a single corruption charge levelled against the deceased MP, but as Wanga is dead, the contractors' took undue advantage of the fact, and using backdated letterheads, they forged Wanga's signatures to get certain projects sanctioned or approved by the Mantralaya, said Pandit. Hence I have requested CM Fadnavis to study all projects bearing Wanga's recommendation closely and also file criminal cases against the cheaters,said Pandit. I know of the fact, that a certain contractor from Palghar district is very much involved in such type of cheating, as after he would get the PWD contract, he would sub-contract to his cronies for a certain project, using political clout and also bribe the politician by giving a certain commission for getting the project sanctioned,said Pandit  all at the cost of the taxpayer.

Shashikant Zole, Personal Assistant (PA) : I worked for Wanga for the last 3 decades including during the time when he the 3 time MP and MLA from Vikramgadh taluka.  Wanga was particular in all his dealings, and would sign letters only after it had an "outward' number for official purposes. When people would come to the Talasari branch of the BJP, the late MP would insist that he will not sign on any blank letterheads in his capacity as the MP of Palghar,said Zole. I myself would file all his letters and I can say on record, that Wanga would never ever sign on blank letter heads. I demand an inquiry into the entire scam as the name of Wanga is being tarnished, as he is always known to be a clean politician.

Madhav Bhandari, Chief State Spokesman of the BJP said we have demanded an inquiry into the entire scam and as far as my knowledge goes, this type of scam was prevalent during the UPA government and we in the NDA will not tolerate such malpractices.