Senior Shiv Sena legislator and former minister Suresh Jain, who has a running feud with anti-corruption campaigner Anna Hazare, has been arrested on charges of masterminding a Rs29-crore housing scam in Jalgaon in 1997. Jain was arrested late on Saturday and a Jalgaon magistrate remanded him to police custody till March 19.
Additional superintendent of police (Jalgaon) Ishu Sindhu said the arrest was made on the basis of an inquiry report submitted in 2006 by the then municipal commissioner of Jalgaon, Pravin Gedam.
Jain is accused of receiving a huge amount of money in the scam, where bank guarantee money was reportedly diverted to the builder, and advances were released in violation of existing laws. He is reported to be the owner of Khandesh Builders, the firm which constructed a housing scheme promoted by Jalgaon Municipal Corporation (then council) in 1997.
Seven-time MLA Jain and Anna Hazare have locked horns since 2003, after Hazare accused him and three other ministers in the then Congress-NCP government of corruption. He first shot to fame as a Sena legislator and then minister in the mid-90s, joined the NCP in 1999, and then rejoined the Sena before the 2009 elections.