'Where is INS Vikrant fund of ₹50 crore?' Sanjay Raut attacks BJP after ED move
Kirit Somaiya collected fund to the tune of ₹50 crore to save INS Vikrant, but no one knows what happened to that money, Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut turned the heat on the BJP, a day after his close aides and wife came on ED radar.
A day after the Enforcement Directorate provisionally attached the properties of the wife and two close aides of Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut, he on Wednesday asked BJP's Kirit Somaiya where is the fund of ₹50 crore that he had collected from the people of Maharashtra to save the INS Vikrant. "In the 1971 war against Pakistan, the Indian Navy played a key role, including the INS Vikrant. When the situation of the INS Vikrant got bad and it got difficult to maintain, there were campaigns for turning it into a museum. There were campaigns across the country for saving the INS Vikrant. All party leaders from Maharashtra used to come to Delhi and meet the then Defence Minister AK Antony or the Prime Minister. Kirit Somaiya used to be part of the campaign," Raut said accusing that the money was never used and nothing is known about the fund.
"Somaiya appealed to the people with the help of his volunteers to collect money to 'Save Vikrant' by wearing the t-shirts and jerseys and going to Mumbai airport and railway stations. Many people back then in the name of the INS Vikrant donated lakhs and crores of money. Three-four people called me yesterday and said that they had donated ₹5,000 and 10,000 rupees in Navy Nagar, Church gate and Chembur," he added.
"As per the information, more than ₹50 crore was collected officially. People thought that all this money will go into saving INS Vikrant. Somaiya then said in all the newspapers that they will submit the money to Raj Bhavan's account by opening a separate independent account. We got the information from Rajya Bhawan that no such amount had been submitted," Raut said.
Sanjay Raut's attack on Kirit Somaiya comes after the ED attached assets of his wife Varsha Raut and two other businessmen Pravin Raut, and Swapna Patkar, wife of Sanjay Raut's close associate Sujit Patkar.
The attachment of the properties comes in connection with the Patra Chawl land scam case.
Alleging political vendetta, Sanjay Raut on Tuesday said he already informed the Rajya Sabha chairman that he was under pressure for not agreeing to topple the Uddhav Thackeray government.
"What is the meaning of property? It means asset. Now you understand the meaning of assets. Am I Vijay Mallya, Mehul Choksi, Nirav Modi or Ambani-Adani? The home where I stay is a very small house. At my native place in Alibag, I do not even have an acre of land. Whatever I have is my hard-earned money," Raut said.