A government civil contractor has accused a Bharatiya Janata Party MLA from Yavatmal in Maharashtra of harassing him for a bribe of Rs 20 lakh. An audio clip of the purported conversation between the contractor and MLA Raju Todsam is also being circulated on social media.
In the clip, a man who identifies himself as MLA Raju Todsam, is heard asking the contractor, Shivdatta Sharma, to pay Rs 20 lakh to get his bills cleared. The man in the clip says he would ask Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis to intervene if the contractor refuses to pay the bribe.
“MLA Raju Todsam has been harassing me about financial transactions,” the contractor said in his complaint to the Wadgaon police station in Yavatmal. “I have made an audio tape of the conversation, where he is threatening me.”
In the clip, Sharma can be heard telling the MLA that he would approach the print media stating that Bharatiya Janata Party leaders were harassing contractors for money. Sharma claimed Todsam told him he would not allow any work to be done in his constituency until the bribe was paid.
Todsam has denied the allegations. “I have only raised the issue of the poor quality of work [done by the contractor],” he said.
The police have not yet registered a First Information Report. “He has just given us a complaint on paper,” Superintendent of Police M Rajkumar told The Indian Express. “I have told him to file a regular FIR with his signature. He has not done that.” The police officer said that a regular FIR was necessary to check the veracity of the audio tape.