Mumbai, Mar 3 (PTI) The Congress today alleged that the IAS and IPS officers, who were seen in a video about river conservation featuring Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis and his wife Amruta, violated the service rules. Also Read - Mumbai Rains: Heavy Rains Paralyse City, IMD Warns of 'Flooding', Local Trains Suspended Due to Waterlogging; BMC Declares Holiday
It also demanded Fadnavis’s resignation. Also Read - Man Chants 'Modiji, Modiji' For 24 Hours Straight on YouTube Live to Celebrate PM Modi's Birthday
State Congress spokesperson Sachin Sawant said that participation of IAS and IPS officers was objectionable, as the service rules don’t permit them to take part in activities of private organisations. Also Read - Kangana Ranaut Receives Notice From BMC Over 'Unauthorised Construction' of Her Residence, Here’s What They Found ‘Illegal’
Citing the All India Service rules, Sawant sought to know if they were forced to take part in the video.
Apart from the chief minister and his wife, the video features Finance Minister Sudhir Mungantiwar, Mumbai municipal commissioner Ajoy Mehta and police commissioner Datta Padsalgikar.
A song in the video calls for saving Mumbai’s four rivers, Poisar, Dahisar, Oshiwara and Mithi.
“The chief minister’s office claims that these people (officials) were invited by River March (a private organisation) to take part in the video. Does it mean the government allows them to take part in such activities without taking permission? Disciplinary action should be taken against them for flouting service norms,” the Congress spokesperson said.
Sawant also alleged that the sequence featuring Amruta Fadnavis was shot in the core area of the Sanjay Gandhi National Park (SGNP) here, where shooting is not allowed unless a special permission is obtained.
“The government said the agency T-Series was roped in only because they have a good support base on YouTube ….However, the company’s logo can be seen in the whole video which means the video has been produced by T-Series. We must know what were the financial dealings with this company, for which the CM has shot videos earlier too,” he said.
“Tickets are being sold online in the name of River March for a programme on March 4. There should be a detailed inquiry into this,” he said.
“The CM should take moral responsibility for violation of norms and we demand that he resign,” Sawant said.
The chief minister’s office, however, claimed that service rules of IAS and IPS officers allow them to take part in activities for creation of public awareness, and they do not need any prior government permission.
River March is not a registered organisation but a people’s movement started by morning walkers at SGNP, the CMO said in a statement.
River March started the campaign for cleaning up Mumbai’s rivers in 2014, and people such as actor Amitabh Bachchan and activist Anna Hazare supported the cause, it said.
The CMO also said that no tickets are being sold for the organisation’s program tomorrow.
Further, all permissions were taken before shooting in the core area of SGNP, and a fee of Rs 14,645 was paid to the government, it said.
This is published unedited from the PTI feed.