A man from Gujarat arrested by Nagpur police for allegedly taking money from three BJP MLAs in Maharashtra on the promise of ministerial berths in the Eknath Shinde-led government was in touch with 28 MLAs from many states, a senior official said on Saturday. He had been arrested by Delhi police in a similar case last year, the official said.
A resident of Morbi in Gujarat’s Ahmedabad district, accused Neeraj Singh Rathod was taken into custody on Tuesday before being brought here.
Over the past three months, the police official said, Rathod got in touch with 28 MLAs from Maharashtra, West Bengal, Haryana, Jharkhand, and Delhi offering them ministerial berths for money and managed to con three of them.
Rathod called up the three MLAs by posing as the personal assistant to BJP president J P Nadda, he said. During the conversation, he also lied to his targets that the politician would be joining the call but it was Rathod who spoke in a different voice, the official said.
The official said Rathod cheated a BJP legislator from Delhi by offering him a role linked with the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana, the Centre’s flagship housing scheme. He was arrested on the complaint of the MLA and got on bail in January this year, he said.
A case has been registered against Rathod under Sections 419 (cheating by personation), 420 (cheating and dishonestly inducing delivery of property), and 511 (punishment for attempting to commit offences punishable with imprisonment for life or other imprisonment) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC).
He has also been charged under section 120 (B) (criminal conspiracy), another official said earlier, adding that during the preliminary probe, the police found that the owner of a mobile shop located near Rathod’s house received money online.
Following the Supreme Court’s ruling on issues related to the June 2022 split in the Shiv Sena, which gave a reprieve to the Eknath Shinde government, there was a buzz that a cabinet expansion could happen soon.
(This story has not been edited by News18 staff and is published from a syndicated news agency feed – PTI)