Who is Pratap Sarnaik, the Shiv Sena MLA from Maharashtra now on ED radar?
Pratap Sarnaik, who finds himself in an investigation by the Enforcement Directorate (ED), joined the Shiv Sena in November 2008 from the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP). In the past 12 years, Sarnaik was elected as the legislator from Ovala-Majiwada constituency in Thane thrice, rose in the party to become a key functionary in Mira-Bhayander and Thane region, and was recently appointed the party’s spokesperson.
The 56-year-old Sena legislator is a real estate developer in Thane and also has business in the hospitality industry with restaurants and clubs in and around Mumbai.
Sarnaik, who used to drive autorickshaw in Thane in the mid-1980s, declared assets worth Rs143 crore in his affidavit filed ahead of the 2019 Assembly elections.Sarnaik’s assets have increased nearly 800% from Rs16.15 crore in 2009.
Sarnaik is considered close to Sena chief and Maharashtra chief minister Uddhav Thackeray and is one of the key leaders for the party from Thane region, where the Sena holds sway.
Recently, Sarnaik was in the news for taking on ally-turned-foe Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) over the Anvay Naik suicide abetment case, the controversy around actor Kangana Ranaut and taking on Republic TV editor-in-chief Arnab Goswami.
Sarnaik raised the issues of the Naik family, seeking reinvestigation in the case. He also moved a privilege motion against Goswami in the state legislative Assembly.
His elder son, Vihang, who is detained by ED for further questioning in a money laundering case, is predominantly involved in the family business, while Purvesh, his younger son, is a secretary of Aaditya Thackeray-headed Yuva Sena and a core member of the youth wing.
He is also a corporator in the Thane Municipal Corporation. Purvesh is married to former BJP minister Dr Ranjit Patil’s daughter Kashmira.
Sarnaik also has good contacts in the Marathi film and theatre circles. Several Marathi film personalities attend the events organised by him.
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