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Ashram school proprietor alleges bribery, minister denies charge

Thursday, September 13, 2018
By A Special Correspondent

Arun Nithure, proprietor of a unaided ashram school in Osmanabad district, yesterday alleged that a personal assistant of the Minister for Social Justice Rajkumar Badole had demanded Rs 10 lakh bribe from him to approve his proposal.

Reports appearing in a section of the vernacular media alleged that there was a physical altercation between Badole's personal assistant and Nithure, who had been to the minister's third floor office in Mantralaya to inquire about the status of his case. Badole however, has denied the charge. On the contrary, the office of Badole has argued that the official concerned is not the minister's personal assistant, but a clerk in his front office by the name of one Gabale.

Reacting to the media report, leader of opposition in legislative assembly Radhakrishna Vikhe-Patil remarked that the beating up of the corrupt personal assistant of the minister for work not done even after payment of Rs 10 lakh is anything to go by, “...the day is not far off when a similar fate could befall on the minister.”

The Minister for Social Justice, in a clarification issued yesterday, stated that Nithure's proposal for converting his central unaided ashram school to an aided school had been pending since 2009. He added that the powers to grant aid to them are with the central government. Badole disclosed that at present, there are 322 central unaided ashram schools in the state and the proposal to grant them approval is pending consideration with the state cabinet. The minister further stated that Nithure's proposal was for a permanently unaided ashram school.

Badole further argued that Nithure's proposal had reached his office a day before, and the next day he  approached his office and demanded the official to clear his file as the same had been sent to the minister for approval. The minister added that Nithure being of unsound mind, beat up the clerk.
Badole stated that in July this year, during the monsoon session of the state legislature in Nagpur, Nithure had given a notice of self-immolation to the Chief Minister's office. Refuting the allegations against him and his personal assistant, the Minister for Social Justice stated that he would conduct an inquiry into the matter and take appropriate action.

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