BJP member of parliament Kirit Somaiya on Friday alleged senior NCP leaders Sunil Tatkare and Ajit Pawar, accused in the multi-crore irrigation scam, had floated around 306 to 308 companies, which were used to hide irrigation kickbacks worth Rs800 crore.
Somaiya wrote to the RBI governor and Union finance secretary demanding an inquiry into this massive money laundering scam. His one-page letter alleges that FA Construction, the irrigation firm under scanner, withdrew around Rs800 crore from its Union Bank account to facilitate the kickbacks.
The BJP MP’s accusations come days after Tatkare and Pawar were grilled by the anti-corruption bureau (ACB) office in Mumbai.
“My complaint pertains to three aspects — one about the web of nearly 306 companies involving Tatkare and Pawar. The second is how fake bills were raised to launder money and the third how FA withdrew nearly Rs800 crore from Union Bank for this,” said Somaiya. He has alleged that this led to massive cost escalations in the Kondhane dam.
While Somaiya said he had got information from investigation agencies as well as confirmation from the bank about the withdrawal, he has not submitted any document or list of companies. He recently withdrew a petition he had filed against Tatkare.
Activist Anjali Damania said there was a whiff of politicking in Somaiya’s complaint. “This is an attempt to politicise the irrigation scam. If it’s a BJP government probe and there is conclusive proof, then action should be taken. Instead, a BJP MP is making allegations based on leaks from the ACB. This is either to milk the scam for publicity or get back indirectly at the Shiv Sena,” said Damania.
She said that in 2012 Somaiya’s earlier complaint against Tatkare had mentioned some allegedly benami companies, which had some common links to the Thackerays.
“Why is Somaiya going to the media with allegations? It’s his government at the state and the Centre. An ACB inquiry is underway, so let him submit proof and then truth will prevail,” said NCP spokesperson Nawab Malik.