The ruling Shiv Sena and the Opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) have locked horns yet again with latter approaching the Bombay High Court over an alleged land scam.
Days after targeting Sena president and Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray’s wife Rashmi for purchasing land from the family of late architect Anvay Naik, former BJP MP Kirit Somaiya has filed a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) against Mumbai Mayor Kishori Pednekar, claiming her family members encroached on shops meant for the poor.
Sena ridiculed Mr. Somaiya saying his track record shows that the BJP has been using him to malign the image of opponents and all the allegations he has levelled against several leaders have fallen flat. Sena Rajya Sabha MP Sanjay Raut challenged Mr. Somaiya to prove his claim that the Thackeray family had carried out 21 business transactions with Naik. “Now that he has blatantly spoken a lie, it is his responsibility to prove it. This trader seems to have no sorrow that a woman lost her husband. The matter is not about transactions but about suicide of her husband. Be careful, of what you speak,” said Mr. Raut.
Another Sena leader and State Transport Minister Anil Parab said the party is waiting for Mr. Somaiya to complete his list of allegations. “Let festivities of Deepavali get over. We not only have answers for everything ready, but we want him to be ready for loads of allegations from our side. He should not back down when we start,” said Mr. Parab.
Mr. Somaiya had claimed that Ms. Thackeray along with the wife of Sena MLA Ravindra Waikar had purchased land in Murud tehsil along with the Naik family. While he demanded an answer from the Thackeray family as to whether they are in the business of purchasing land, the former BJP MP could not explain when asked about illegalities involved in the transaction.
On Friday, Mr. Somaiya directed his allegations at the Mumbai Mayor. He has approached the Lokayukta against the Sena-ruled Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC). He said the BMC allegedly purchased a seven-acre plot in Dahisar for ₹349 crore, which the builder had purchased for ₹2.55 crore. Mr. Somaiya also claimed that the construction of a 5,000-bed COVID-19 hospital by the BMC is under the scanner for corruption.