Rubbishing allegations of irregularities and corruption in the functioning of the Shri Siddhivinayak Temple Trust, its chairman Aadesh Bandekar, during a media interaction on Monday, said that all work happened as per guidelines provided by the government.
The interaction was held to provide details of Angarki Sankasht Chaturthi and dispel “misinformation going around on social media”.
Mr Bandekar said, “There is a lot of misinformation on social media. There is no corruption or wrong doing done underway at the Trust, which is in control of the Government of Maharashtra with an Under-Secretary level officer and a Financial Officer. Whatever happens is as per the procedures and guidelines laid down by the government.”
Mr Bandekar, who belongs to the Uddhav Thackeray faction of the Shiv Sena, was rebutting allegations levelled by Chief Minister Eknath Shinde’s faction, including Mr Sada Sarvankar, who has alleged that nearly 15,000 litres of ghee was purchased from a Uttar Pradesh firm that was eventually sold by its trustees during the Covid lockdown.
Mr Sarvankar also alleged that after the temple opened, the trust doled out a Rs 3.5 crore contract to a software company linked to its trustees for setting up a QR-code-based entry system which would have cost only Rs40-50 lakh. The Irregularities in construction and maintenance of the temple trust were other allegations levelled.
Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, who had given Mr Bandekar the status of Minister of State, had said that the allegations will be looked into and inquiry into the malpractices of the working in Trust will be conducted within 30 days.
“All guidelines laid down by the government are followed and everything is done through e-tender process. There is no question of corruption. On social media many people were levelling allegations and we were also advised to counter them,” said Mr Bandekar.
About Angarki Sankasht Chaturthi, devotees will be allowed to visit the temple from midnight to 1.30 am after Kakad Aarti and Mahapuja. The darshan will resume early morning at 3.50am and 8pm, and then 9.30pm to 11.30pm.