The Bharatiya Janata Party has demanded that Chief Minister K. Chandrashekar Rao come clean on the award of the ORR toll gate collections contract to IRB Infrastructure Developers by the HMDA.

"There are serious concerns regarding corruption in the deal and the Chief Minister has the responsibility to address this issue. The BJP demands a thorough inquiry into the entire deal and the way it was made," state BJP president Bandi Sanjay Kumar said on Tuesday.

He said if the Chief Minister does not respond to our demand, then "we will decide on our next course of action."

While Sanjay Kumar did not specify what the next course of action would be if the Chief Minister does not respond to the BJP’s demand, he made it clear, telling that "after the BJP comes to power, we will investigate and there will be no question of letting anyone who broke the law get away with it".

Earlier, BJP MLA M. Raghunandan Rao, alleging high levels of corruption in the making of the deal between the HMDA and IRB, had demanded that the contract awarded to IRB be cancelled. He had also lodged a complaint with the Central Bureau of Investigation, asking the agency to investigate the awarding of the contract.

The BJP, along with the Congress, had repeatedly alleged that the ORR toll collection contract was made in a secretive manner and enormous sums of money were involved in handing the deal to the private company.

Sanjay Kumar, who made his demand for a probe and an explanation from the Chief Minister in a letter to Chandrashekar Rao, said, "As the head of the government, Chandrashekar Rao has a responsibility to respond to allegations of corruption in the deal, and to clarify

doubts that people have on the matter."

Sanjay Kumar said currently, the state gets `415 crore a year as revenue from ORR tolls and even if a five per cent increase in toll charges is computed for 30 years, the state stands to earn `30,000 crore at the end of the 30-year period.

"Under such circumstances, where was a need to award a tender and the contract in a secretive and hush-hush manner. The IRB infrastructure company currently operates tolling in Maharashtra over 1,014 lane-kilometres and has a 10-year contract, for which it paid `8,875 crore. 

Here, for a 30-year period, the amount being charged is `8,380 crore for a longer stretch of ORR in lane-kilometres. Where was the need to give the contract at such a low rate?" Sanjay Kumar asked in his letter.

"There was secrecy from the word ‘go’ on the ORR toll collection tender process, right up to finalising the tender. The government is not even revealing the base price for the tender. In addition, threats are being issued to those reporting on the subject and those who are questioning the contract are being issued legal notices. All these actions, and your silence, strengthens the doubts that a lot is being hidden about the goings on behind awarding of the contract," Sanjay said in his letter.

"Already, your government is facing charges of corruption in liquor, question paper leakages and several other issues and now the ORR toll contract has been added to this list. It is your responsibility to come clean on the corruption charges. As the Chief Minister, you should also clarify why threats are being issued to anyone who questions the deal," Sanjay said.

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