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BJP dismisses claims, says Nana Patole has personal animosity against Fadnavis

Nana Patole, who is heading the Congress campaign committee in the State, on Monday demanded the resignation of Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis over reports that the State government had allegedly transferred the State police’s salary accounts from nationalised banks to Axis Bank.

Mr. Fadnavis’s wife Amruta is the vice-president of the bank and Mr. Patole said Mr. Fadnavis has to step down from his post to ensure that an effective probe is carried out into the accusations.

According to a petition filed in the Bombay High Court, Mr. Fadnavis misused his powers for the benefit of his wife. It said, “The State government, through a Government Resolution (GR), effected the transfer of the bank account sto Axis Bank in 2017.” Issuing a clarification on Saturday, Mr. Fadnavis had said, “The GR was passed in 2005 and the accounts were transferred in March 2005, while I married Amruta in November 2005.”

Mr. Patole questioned Amruta’s sudden rise in Axis Bank. He said, “The GR initially included 15 banks, not just Axis Bank. In 2017, it was revised to include only Axis Bank. However, Mr. Fadnavis has always claimed to be ‘Mr. Clean’. He said the Nagpur Bench of the Bombay High Court, in a suo moto decision, accepted the writ petition as a public interest litigation by citing that there was “possibility of financial criminal offence”. Mr. Patole said the probe into the allegations would be ineffective if Mr. Fadnavis continues to stay in power. “We demand that the CM tender his resignation,” he said.

Meanwhile, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) dismissed the allegations and claimed Mr. Patole has personal animosity against Mr. Fadnavis.

BJP spokesperson Keshav Upadhye said, “The police department has issued a clarification. The accounts have been opened in State Bank of India, HDFC and Axis Bank. Most accounts are with the SBI.” He said Mr. Patole should accept Mr. Fadnavis’s challenge to prove the allegations or retire from politics.

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