iconimg Friday, August 28, 2015

HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times
Mumbai, February 02, 2013
Public works minister Chhagan Bhujbal and his family members have business links with Anil Bastavade, former Jharkhand chief minister Madhu Koda’s aide who has been recently arrested in a money laundering scam, Bharatiya Janata Party leader Kirit Somaiya alleged on Friday.

Somaiya claimed that the Bhujbal family has transferred hundreds of crores of rupees to foreign countries through the hawala route. “Bhujbal’s nephew Sameer had several meetings with Bastavade in Indonesia between July 15 and August 1, 2010. The family transferred huge funds to Indonesia through four of their companies, which have Armstrong in their names. While the companies have been running into losses ever since they were set up in 2005, their subsidiaries in Indonesia have huge net worth,” Somaiya alleged.

Somaiya alleged that despite the established connection between Bhujbals and Bastavade, the enforcement directorate has not taken any action. “I have proofs that Bhujbals and Bastavade met in Indonesia, when the latter was declared absconding. Telgi scam accused Antim Totala and member of Bhujbal’s Mumbai Education Trust Paresh Page were also present at the meetings,” he said.

Somaiya also claimed that the state government was not allowing the anti-corruption bureau to start an inquiry into the alleged misappropriation by Bhujbal in various government projects including the Maharashtra Sadan.

Rubbishing the allegations, Bhujbal said that the transfer of nearly Rs20 crore was carried out after seeking permission from the Reserve Bank of India. “We don’t know who Bastavade is. Pankaj and I were in Mumbai for the monsoon session during the said period. Sameer told me that even he doesn’t know Bastavade,” said Bhujbal.

The minister dared Somaiya to produce documents substantiating the allegations. “Sameer owns a mine in Indonesia and is trying to set up a power generation business there. So, he has to visit the country frequently. This doesn’t mean that he met Bastavade in Indonesia. As far as Totala is concerned, he is related to us and has come out clean in the Telgi scam,” said Bhujbal.

Bhujbal said that he was ready for an inquiry by any government agency.